COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Columbus’ capital improvements budget awaits the city council’s approval. This year’s proposed 2021 capital budget is more than $1.2 billion dollars.
According to the mayor’s office, there is about $766 million in new funding and almost $495 million in carry-over funds.
Mayor Andrew Ginther made the announcement Thursday afternoon.
City leaders discussed affordable housing as an issue and included $35 million to help. More than $100 million is slated to go towards street improvements, and $63 million is set to go towards improving parks, playgrounds, and recreation centers.
“These projects that you’ve heard detailed are some of the most direct ways we invest in our neighborhoods to support the people who live there,” said the financial committee chair Elizabeth Brown. “They’re physical investments that really improve quality of life every day.”
One of the streets budgeted to get big improvements is Hudson Street between I-71 and Cleveland Avenue, according to the mayor’s office. A spokesperson said the proposed capital budget calls for work to begin early next year on utilities in the area, adding a sidewalk on the north side, reconstructing an existing media, adding a shared-use path on the south side, new street signals, and re-paving. Neighbors in the area said the work is much needed and long overdue.
“It has been rough the entire time. It hasn’t gotten any better,” said Luther Clinchscales who’s lived in the area for 15 years, and drives on the street every day. “We have to go left and right to avoid potholes. Friends of mine bust rims and tires off of them. So it needs to be fixed.”
During his announcement on Thursday, Mayor Ginther also said $668 million dollars will go towards infrastructure-related projects he described as ‘not as visible or sometimes taken for granted.’
“Safe reliable drinking water and a functioning well-maintained sewer system,” he said. “More than half of this budget is going toward these vital services which are a significant and essential priority for our collective wellbeing and have never been more important as we continue to battle this global pandemic.”
The mayor recently announced plans for a new real-time crime center in Linden and a police substation in the Hilltop area. Those would be funded by the capital budget. City Council expects to vote on the capital improvements budget on November 1.