COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus City Council has unanimously approved a $940 million capital improvement budget proposed by the mayor.
The budget, passed by the council 7-0, includes funding for neighborhood infrastructure such as street repair and repaving, water and sewer upgrades and building construction. Nearly 60% of the capital budget is to pay for water and sewer infrastructure.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther likes to say that his top three priorities are neighborhoods, neighborhoods, and neighborhoods. He says this capital improvements budget reflects that priority.
“It allocates funds that help stabilize families by expanding the capacity for early childhood education, address the challenges of affordable housing by improving infrastructure and increase neighborhood safety with new police and fire equipment and facilities,” Ginther said when he introduced the budget in May.
Highlights of the budget include:
– $14 million for the construction of the Hilltop Early Childhood Education Center
– $11 million for the construction of Fire Station #16 in Linden$30 million for street reconstruction and repaving citywide
– $182 million in sewer and waterline improvements and street lighting citywide
– $10 million toward affordable housing including the Affordable Housing Alliance, Housing Preservation, Land Bank and Southside Housing Development
The Hilltop Early Childhood Education Center addresses the lack of available preschool opportunities.
“The Hilltop has one of the lowest numbers of young people enrolled in high quality early learning,” Ginther said in May. “We know that access to high quality early learning pays huge dividends.” “We’re going to serve 240 kids when this Hilltop Pre-K center is all done.”