COLUMBUS CITY COUNCIL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
July 30, 2012
WAR ON GRAFFITI: Columbus City Council’s concentrated battle on graffiti is being taken to the next level. In April, Councilmembers created the Graffiti Assistance Program to help residents and business owners remove graffiti from occupied structures at the City’s expense. Tonight, Councilmembers will consider ordinance 1672-2012, sponsored by Development Committee Chair Zach M. Klein, which will create the Graffiti Neighborhood Clean-Up Grant. Councilmember Klein is making $200,000 available for this competitive grant program that provides funding for not-for-profit neighborhood organizations to purchase the tools they need to fight graffiti in their community.
NEW MALONEY CENTER: Access to affordable health care for all is crucial in building healthier and safer neighborhoods. Ordinance 1724-2012, sponsored by Health and Human Services Committee Chair Councilmember Priscilla R. Tyson, will allow the City to enter into a contract with the Daimler Group for the construction of the new John Maloney Health and Wellness Center located at 1905 Parsons Avenue. The 21,000 square foot single story building will be a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certified building and will be home to a number of health care providers and their services including Columbus Neighborhood Health Center, Inc., The Ohio State University Medical Center, a Moms 2 Be program, Columbus Public Health’s Women, Infants & Children Program, and North Community Counseling Centers for Behavior Health care needs.
HELPING HAND FOR VETERANS: A 2012 Capital Budget priority for Councilmember Hearcel F. Craig is to begin a program to help veterans maintain their homes in an efficient and cost effective manner. That is why Craig, a Viet Nam era Army Veteran, is sponsoring ordinance 1727-2012 to invest $250,000 in the Better Municipal Care for Veterans-Home Program. The program will partner with Community Development for All People (CD4AP) Corporation, the non-profit based group that is leading the charge to build and renovate housing stock on the south side in the South Side Renaissance Home Repair Program. The program will help homeowners who are veterans or have a veteran living with them permanently. Veterans must be other than dishonorably discharged to take advantage of the program. Councilmember Craig believes a targeted approach and the partnership with DC4AP will allow this pilot program to have the greatest impact on neighborhood improvement efforts.
BUILDING THE DIVERSITY BRIDGE: The Diversity Bridge Initiative is an economic development program launched by the Columbus Chamber to help accelerate the growth of minority and women-owned businesses in Columbus. Through the Diversity Bridge web portal, the Chamber looks to leverage resources, minimize duplication of effort, and connect minority businesses with opportunities, resources, and peers. Ordinance 1639-3012, sponsored by Small and Minority Business Development Committee Chair A. Troy Miller, authorizes the expenditure of $50,000 from the General Fund to pay administrative costs associated with the services referenced above.
CREATING A GREENER COLUMBUS: The City of Columbus is constantly searching for unique and environmentally friendly ways to do business. Ordinance 1269-2012, on for first reading this evening and sponsored by Public Utilities Committee Chair Eileen Y. Paley, allows the City to enter into a contract with Ohio Mulch, Inc. for the purposes of instituting a biosolids beneficial reuse program. This contract will help the City reduce landfill costs by diverting the biosolids created at Columbus wastewater treatment facilities. The biosolids collected, up to 30,000 tons annually, will be used as a nitrogen source to grow hybrid poplar trees which will later be harvested for mulch.
SAFETY CAMERA PROGRAM: One year ago, Columbus’ neighborhood safety camera program began in five neighborhoods, Hilltop, Livingston Avenue, Mt Vernon, Weinland Park and Linden area. More than 100 cameras give police real time information on criminal activity and help protect residents and property. Councilmember Michelle M. Mills, chair of the Public Safety Committee, is sponsoring ordinance 1500-2012 to modify a contract with SimplexGrinnell for $475,000 to expand the neighborhood safety camera system in these neighborhoods as part of a comprehensive approach to preventing and fighting crime in the City.
COLUMBUS SOUTH SIDE AREA COMMISSION REPORT: City Council President Andrew J. Ginther continues to invite leaders of various area commissions to City Council so the entire community can have a better understanding of the issues and opportunities that impact Columbus neighborhoods. Tonight, Jim Griffin of the Columbus South Side Area Commission will be at City Council to update Councilmembers and staff on activities in his neighborhood.