COLUMBUS CITY COUNCIL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
June 4, 2012
REVITALIZING COLUMBUS NEIGHBORHOODS: City Council continues its efforts to help small business owners through an incentive program designed to enhance the appearance of neighborhood businesses. Councilmember Zach M. Klein, chair of the Development Committee, is sponsoring ordinance 1023-2012, which authorizes the expenditure of $250,000 from the General Permanent Improvements Fund for small business facade improvement grants to help revitalize area neighborhoods including Franklinton, Hilltop, Main Street, Parsons Avenue, Long Street/Mount Vernon, Main Street and North/South Linden. The grant program aims to help small, independent businesses cover the cost of signage, awnings, facade painting, window/door replacement and exterior lighting. The grants can be used for exterior front façade renovation only and improvements must be attached to the building.
EXPANDING HEALTH CARE ON THE SOUTHSIDE: Columbus residents on the city’s south side will soon have two places to receive quality health care. Finance Committee Chair Priscilla R. Tyson is sponsoring ordinance 1090-2012 to authorize the expenditure of $81,900.00 to modify a contract for the design and construction of the new John R. Maloney Health Center. The new health center will be located at the former Schottenstein’s Department Store site, located at 1887 South Parsons Avenue and will serve as an anchor for the Greater Parsons Avenue Vision Plan developed to help revive the south side. The contract modification will include enhanced commissioning to ensure proper function of building systems, upgraded design services for security and video monitoring, construction administration for the removal and re‑compaction of unforeseen soil conditions, and at the request of the Development Department, preliminary site planning for The Parsons Avenue Southern Gateway public right‑of‑way improvements for the surrounding areas of the overall development site. The temporary health facility located at 3781 South High Street will remain open, doubling the access to vital medical services for area residents.
PURCHASING CNG VEHICLES FOR CITY REFUSE COLLECTION: In an effort to help reduce emissions, part of the city’s fleet is being replaced with compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. Public Service Committee Chair Eileen Y. Paley is sponsoring two pieces of legislation to replace refuse collection vehicles that are beyond their useful life. Ordinance 0855-2012 will authorize the expenditure of $5.2 million for the purchase of 18 CNG Automated Side Loader Refuse Trucks and ordinance 0864-2012 will authorize the expenditure of $1.4 million to purchase four Diesel and two CNG Front Box Loading Refuse Trucks. CNG vehicles produce significantly lower amounts of harmful emissions such as nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and toxic and carcinogenic pollutants. Natural gas is readily available, clean-burning and costs less than gasoline. The Division of Refuse Collection is responsible for trash collection throughout the city of Columbus and serves more than 320,000 households each week.
ENCOURAGING EMPLOYMENT AND BUSINESS GROWTH IN COLUMBUS: The Central Ohio Minority Business Association (COMBA) is a non-profit agency which provides entrepreneurial development assistance and high-end business consulting free of charge to start-up and emerging business owners on a non-discriminatory basis. Small & Minority Business Development Committee Chair A. Troy Miller is sponsoring ordinance 1126-2012 to authorize the expenditure of $10,000 in additional funding through a budget amendment to increase an existing contract with COMBA to further employment opportunities and business growth in Columbus. During the last four years, COMBA has provided consulting services to over 3,000 business people, resulting in the creation of 265 new jobs and the retention of 493 jobs. The organization held over 268 conferences and workshops with over 7,333 participants in attendance.
IMPROVING POLICE & FIRE COMMUNICATIONS: Public Safety & Judiciary Committee Chair Michelle M. Mills is sponsoring ordinance 1292-2009 to authorize the expenditure of $438,822.95 for the purchase of an upgraded Audio Digital Communications Recording System for the Police and Fire Communications System. The city is currently working with Franklin County to upgrade to the City's E911 system. The new digital equipment will replace the current analog system and is essential for logging Police, Fire and EMS, E911 dispatched calls, and radio communications. The new Digital Communication Recording System, along with the other upgrades to the E911 system, will have the additional functionality of speech analytics, screen capture, quality assurance software and will support the digital upgrade of the voice communication system.