COLUMBUS CITY COUNCIL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
April 23, 2012
PROTECTING NEIGHBORHOODS FROM ADULT GAMING PARLORS: Columbus neighborhoods have experienced a proliferation of Adult Gaming Parlors that utilize computer terminals or standalone machines also referred to as "sweepstakes terminal devices." The parlors allow customers to play a slot-machine-like device in return for a prize or item of value and are operating due to a loophole in state gaming laws. Last October, Councilmembers unanimously approved ordinance 1761-2011 to put in place a 6 month moratorium on the processing or approval of any application for a certificate of zoning clearance, building occupancy permit, or any other permit or approval required under the Zoning or Building Code, for any new gaming parlors in Columbus to allow state leaders to enact a statewide law to regulate this form of gaming. In response to the Ohio Legislature’s failure to act on this issue, Public Safety & Judiciary Committee Chair Michelle M. Mills is co-sponsoring ordinance 0856-2012 to authorize the extension of the moratorium by 90 days with the express purpose of considering options including the regulation or banning of Adult Gaming Parlors in the City of Columbus. At this time, Adult Gaming Parlors are not specifically listed as a permitted use in the City of Columbus.
ROOF IMPROVEMENTS AT LOCAL PARKS: City parks continue to offer a wide range of recreational opportunities for area residents to enjoy. In order to keep the facilities in good condition, renovations are often needed. Recreation & Parks Committee Chair Zachary M. Klein is sponsoring ordinance 0742-2012 to authorize the expenditure of $1 million from the Voted Recreation and Parks Bond Fund for the Roof Renovations Spring 2012 Project. The project will include roof renovations at various recreation centers including: Sullivant Garden, Krumm, Tuttle, Driving Park, Woodward Park, and Schiller as well as the Columbus Swim Center, the Cultural Arts Center, Columbus Performing Arts Center, Tuttle Pool and the Alum Creek Maintenance HQ. The City of Columbus currently has 215 parks on over 10,000 acres.
ENHANCING DOWNTOWN ROADWAYS FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: The city of Columbus continues to implement concepts from the 2010 Downtown Columbus Strategic Plan to enhance residential opportunities, business development, job creation, transportation and entertainment options within the Central Business District. Public Service & Transportation Committee Chair Eileen Y. Paley, is sponsoring ordinance 0720-2012, to authorize the expenditure of $515,000 from the Streets and Highways G.O. Bonds Fund for a contract modification with Burgess and Niple for the Roadway Improvements – Downtown Action Plan. The design concepts will include providing on-street parking on High Street, converting Front Street to two-way operation north of Broad Street, reducing the number of travel lanes on Broad Street and including complete streets concepts, evaluating the one-way pairs for compete streets concepts and reviewing on-street parking throughout downtown. The 2010 Downtown Strategic Plan was developed to create an overall vision for downtown economic development for the next 10 years.
HELPING PREPARE CHILDREN FOR SUCCESS IN SCHOOL: Many children who enter Columbus City Schools kindergarten classrooms lack the foundation skills necessary to learn. In an effort to ensure that all children are prepared for school, the United Way created the Columbus Kids: Ready, Set, Learn program in 2010. The early childhood intervention program is a collaboration of more than 100 community organizations and provides school readiness screenings and referral services for children 2 ½ to 4 years of age. The screenings identify developmental delays, behavior, speech, hearing or vision problems among preschoolers and provide information on avenues for improvement. Councilmember Priscilla R. Tyson is co-sponsoring ordinance 0705-2012 to authorize the expenditure of $250,000 for the Columbus Kids: Ready, Set, Learn initiative. The funding was included as an amendment to the 2012 City of Columbus Budget to help the program continue its mission of ensuring all children who begin school are ready for success. This year’s initiative will focus on the communities of greatest need: Central City Columbus, Weinland Park, South Linden, Westside and Southside neighborhoods. In addition, Councilmember Tyson is co-sponsoring ordinance 0756-2012 for the Angel in You Program. The program was designed to help middle school girls learn how to improve their decision‑making and impulse control skills, boost their self‑image and self‑esteem and develop their talents and abilities. The program also helps reduce relationship aggression among girls as well as lowering the number of bullying incidents.
HEARING FROM OUR NEIGHBORHOODS: In an effort to focus attention on the important role of neighborhood organizations, City Council President Andrew J. Ginther is inviting a representative from one of the 17 area commissions to present a report to City Council each month. Tonight, Seth Golding, Chair of the University Area Commission, will inform members of Council about some of the latest neighborhood developments and activities in the University District. City Council established area Commissions in the early 1970s to act as a liaison between neighborhood groups, property owners, residents, developers and city officials.