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Wed June 19, 2013
Columbus Mayor Proposes Bond Package For November Ballot
Columbus City officials this morning outlined plans for a bond package to be placed on the November Ballot.
Mayor Michael Coleman says Columbus has been recognized as one of the best places to live because the city has continued to make infrastructure improvements with the help of these bond packages..
MC: In 2008 we asked the voters to support a 5-year bond package. The voters did so overwhelmingly, and that was for a period of five years. And that five years will be up come at the end of this year. And we have made responsible investments in the meantime. With voter approval of this request, four bond package issues, our goal is to invest up to $842 million in our neighborhoods and strengthen our economy, without raising taxes.
Coleman says there will be four bond packages appearing on the ballot.
MC: One issue will be for Safety and Health. Where our goal is to spend $53 million for police and fire facilities, vehicles and equipment to help make us safer and stronger in our neighborhoods. The second issue is for Recreation and Parks; setting aside $124 million for recreations centers, bike paths, pools, parks, playgrounds and equipment. Public Service will be the third issue, where our goal is to set aside $220 million, for resurfacing, sidewalks, roadways, bike paths, refuse vehicles and containers, street equipment and other neighborhood improvements...
...with the fourth issue for Public Utilities, the city plans to invest $445 million dollars for water system improvements and street lighting. The city held four community meetings to gauge the needs of residents, and Coleman says that input will shape the projects in the bond package. City officials note that Columbus continues to be the only city of its size in the nation with a triple-a credit rating from all three national rating agencies. They say investors purchasing city bonds have more confidence they will be repaid if voters have approved the debt issuance, and generally demand a lower interest rate. That Cheaper debt - officials say - allows the city to save millions, resulting in more capital improvements in Columbus neighborhoods. Columbus City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed bond package one week from today (June 26). Council members expect to pass a resolution to send the package to the ballot at their July 1st meeting.