- Plans investment in neighborhoods, affordable housing and police reform
Barely 48hours of receiving voting approval on police reform, Columbus, Ohio Mayor Andrew J. Ginther has announced the 2020 Capital Improvements Budget (CIB) which includes nearly $113 million in new infrastructure projects to support police reform, increase affordable housing and invest in Columbus neighborhoods.
“This year has wreaked havoc on our community. The global pandemic, an economic recession, a spike in gun violence and a national reckoning over racial injustice means our capital budget must be laser focused,” said Mayor Ginther.
“We’ve heard loud and clear what residents want: police reform, affordable housing and neighborhood improvements, and that’s where we will invest their tax dollars.”
To change police response to addiction, mental illness and people in crisis, the city is allocating $10 million over three years to the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County to build a new facility for addiction recovery.
The facility is expected to help more than 26,000 people in crisis in the first year alone. The investment is part of a strategy to provide those in mental health or addiction crisis the care they need and allow police officers to place greater focus on preventing violent crime.
The city is also dedicating $3 million to an Eastside wellness center for police and fire to assist first responders in managing stress and work-related trauma. The center is an investment in the physical and emotional health of police officers and firefighters, to promote wellness and to better equip Columbus safety forces to serve the community.
A total of $11.5 million will support the construction and renovation of affordable housing units. This investment will leverage an estimated $83 million in additional investment and deliver more than 500 affordable housing units over the next 24 months.
In addition, $2.5 million will be invested through Community Development For All People for affordable housing on the South Side, representing the second half of Mayor Ginther’s $5 million commitment to the South Side Community. Once complete, this investment will provide 75 new and rehabilitated units.
Other neighborhood investments include:
- $6.5 million for the Hilltop Education Center, expected to break ground this year
- $3.7 million for reconstruction of Hudson Avenue from I-71 to Cleveland
- $10 million in infrastructure improvements along Sullivant Ave.
- Design work for pools at the Glenwood Community Center in Hilltop and Windsor Pool in Linden
- $1.4 million for Crittendon Community Center under Directions for Youth and Families in the Far East
- $1 million towards a new Boys and Girls Club center in Milo-Grogan
- Street and sidewalk construction throughout the city
The total CIB is $1.4 billion, including all funds and carryover. Columbus City Council will hold a hearing on the budget at noon, November 9.