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Columbus Mayor And City Council Roll Out Proposed Capital Budget

Repaving Columbus streets, installing more security cameras and renovating the outdated Maryland Swimming Pool are just some of the projects that would be paid for under Mayor Michael Coleman's proposed capital budget for the next fiscal year. “We'll be spending $380 million in neighborhood projects to help rebuild the city in all kinds of ways,â€? Coleman says. Coleman says that while other cities are leaving repairs undone, Columbus is moving forward, addressing critical deficiencies with taxpayer-funded dollars. The mayor was joined in the budget roll-out by most members of the city council including council president Andrew Ginther. “Just four years ago, we didn't have a capital budget. The only money that we spent investing back into neighborhoods in 2009 was federal stimulus dollars for resurfacing [streets],â€? Ginther said. But that same year, 2009, Columbus voters approved a one-half percent income tax increase; supplying money to help with infrastructure repair. Councilmember Zach Klein says the credit goes to the voters. “Where other cities are cutting and making very difficult decisions about letting their infrastructure crumble, we're making significant investments in the people and the neighborhoods and the infrastructure because the people of Columbus made that decision in 2009,â€? Klein says. A public hearing on the $380 million dollar budget is scheduled for mid-March. The council expects to approve the budget by April 1st.