Columbus City Council last night approved the city's 969.5 million dollar operating budget for the year.
Council last week added 5.3 million in pet spending priorities to Mayor Andy Ginther's proposal, including expanding small-business programs, analyzing early-childhood education, funding additional EMS instructors, and expanding the trades-skills mentoring program.
Council also approved a ten year, 75 percent property tax abatement for a developer who is one of the most prolific contributors to the campaigns of local elected officials. A subsidary of Waggonbrenner Development is getting a tax break worth over 4 million dollars to build what is called 'speculative office space' on a large parcel of land in the Grandview Heights area. Columbus Development Director Mike Stevens says the project addresses an economic need:
But long-time city hall critic and failed Council candidate Joe Motil says the project does not need a tax break:
The city says the project will create 20 new jobs.