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Neighborhood improvements highlight city's capital budget

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City of Columbus
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Columbus officials today unveiled the city's Capital Improvements Budget. The $1.26 billion proposal consists of $766.2 million in new funding and $494.7 million in carryover dollars. 

"We think that significant physical improvements throughout our city are important to our quality of life and the quality of life throughout the region," Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther said. "Affordable housing, fire stations, police substations, mental health treatment centers, streets, sidewalks, pools, parks, and community centers. These are strategic, tangible investments that benefit lives and livelihoods as well as essential city services like water and sewer."

The budget includes $35 million for affordable and safe housing and $125 million for street resurfacing and improvements.

“This next round of neighborhood investments came after months of listening to residents and collaboration with the mayor’s team,” Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin said. “Councilmembers were clear in their priorities to invest millions in affordable housing, in fixing up older homes, improving parks and recreation centers, and giving our Police and Fire Divisions the tools and accessible facilities they need to modernize operations. I look forward to seeing pools built, the policing substation on the Hilltop and $22 million in new sidewalks in neighborhoods so kids can walk safely to school.”

More than $63 million would help develop and improve parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities citywide, including $12 million to renovate the pools at Glenwood and Windsor community centers, as well as $4.5 million to plant new street trees and support the Urban Forestry Master Plan.

“Safe sidewalks, recreation center improvements and increased tree canopy are just a few ways Council has advocated for supporting our neighborhoods through capital projects, and the budget introduction today is a critical step forward in those areas and more,” Council President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown added. “As finance chair, my goal each year is to continue elevating neighborhood priorities as we make these investments because no one is a greater expert on their neighborhood than the people who live there.”

The proposal receives its first consideration at Council's Monday meeting.

Mike Foley joined WCBE in February 2000, coming from WUFT in Gainesville, Florida. Foley has worked in various roles, from producing news and feature stories to engineering Live From Studio A sessions. A series of music features Foley started in 2018 called Music Journeys has grown into a podcast and radio show. He also assists in developing other programs in WCBE's Podcast Experience. Foley hosts The Morning Mix, a weekday music show featuring AAA, Columbus-area and Ohio-based musicians, along with additional artists that inspire him.