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Columbus Council Approves Affordable Housing Grant Money, Renews Yard Waste & Recycling Contract

Apr 16, 2019

Columbus City Hall
Credit WCBE files

Columbus City Council last night approved spending 5.6 million dollars in capital improvement bond money to fund grants to build homes for needy families. 

The grants will be administered through a parternship between the Affordable Housing Trust of Columbus and Franklin County and the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio. Alliance director Bobbie Garber:

The nature of those projects have yet to be determined. A bond issue on the May ballot includes 50 million dollars to address the area's affordable housing crisis. Council also approved an income tax break on jobs created by the expansion of the Cincinnati-based Total Quality Logistics operation. 60 jobs will be created when the firm moves across the street from its current Brewery District building. Columbus development director Steve Schoeny:

Council also approved a nine million dollar contract  for the third year of a five-year contract with Rumpke for recycling and yard waste collection. The contract is 300 thousand dollars more than the cost of the second year and significantly more than when the programs were launched seven years ago. Rumpke was the only bidder for a new five-year contract when it's first pact expired. It's bid was 45 million dollars, 50 percent higher than the 2012 deal. City officials have tried to find ways to cut costs without reducing services, but no savings have come about. The city is looking at other haulers as one way to save money. Another would be to boost participation. Refuse Division Administrator Tim Swauger says the programs have extended the life of the Franklin County Landfill.

Swauger says unlike some other cities, Columbus has not seen its costs increase under President Trump's trade war with China.

The city has said Columbus residents pay less for the services compared with those of other cities, including Cincinnati, Bexley and Westerville.