COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Next month, Columbus residents will be asked to vote on a bond package worth more than $1 billion that public officials said will improve the city’s safety, infrastructure, and more.
Voters can choose to say yes or no to multiple bond issues and charter amendments in the city, which could bring about major changes to Columbus in a number of ways.
“We need to be investing in ourselves, and our infrastructure,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said Monday.
Ginther is asking voters to consider approving a $1.5 billion bond package in November which he said is designed to improve the city’s infrastructure and affordable housing.
“This is a way for us to invest $1.5 billion dollars in ourselves, make our city safer, healthier, provide more housing without raising taxes, and we think that’s really important,” he said.
The bond issues on the November ballot include $300 million toward health, safety, and infrastructure; $200 million toward recreation and parks; $200 million toward neighborhood development; $250 million toward public services; and $550 million toward public utilities.
Ginther and other city leaders said the package is important in sustaining Columbus’ community for years to come.
“These issues affect the way that we are able to provide critical services to our residents, keep our communities safe, have culturally competent folks serving us,” said Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin.
Hardin said that in addition to the five bond issues, there will also be three charter amendments on next month’s ballot.
The amendments will cover increased transparency during elections, along with modernizing city government and promoting further diversity hiring in the city, according to Hardin.
“This will give the flexibility to take people’s backgrounds, to take people’s lived experiences into account when putting together a full assessment of someone we either want to advance or hire into the city,” he said.
City leaders said this bond package will not increase property taxes or impose any new tax, but are instead funded by the city’s revenue income tax, along with water and sewer bills.