Mayor's $1 billion capital budget proposal
Investments in public safety, affordable housing and mentorship programs help make up Mayor Andrew Ginther's 2022 operating budget proposal, which would stand as the largest budget in city history.
- City Council is hosting a slate of meetings over the coming days to hear public comment on the comprehensive budget plan and consider changes.
- A final vote is expected early next year.
Why it matters: If approved by City Council, this operating budget would top $1 billion in spending for the first time in Columbus history.
- The sweeping proposal reflects a city experiencing a "time of challenges and growth," the mayor wrote to Council.
🚔 More than $354 million for the Columbus Division of Police, $17 million more than what was budgeted for 2021.
- This includes funding to hire 170 new police officers to offset those retiring or otherwise leaving the department.
- $65,000 is specifically allocated for "minority recruiting efforts" for the police and fire departments.
🏠 $2.3 million for Department of Development personnel funding, which will pay for five new staff members to work toward expanding affordable housing units in town.
🖍 $1.8 million toward the new Hilltop Early Learning Center, which will serve 240 pre-K students in the western Columbus neighborhood.
🇺🇸 $275,000 for the New Americans program, offering translation and other services to help immigrants settle in the region.
🦺 $2.3 million for the Applications for Purpose, Pride and Success (APPS) program, which provides 14-23 year olds with mentorship and job skills training at a number of area community centers.
- APPS is overseen by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, which is now led by a director with a stated goal of ramping up local teen programming.
🎭 Extra funding for the parks department to hire two new positions to organize performing arts programs and other community festivals.
- The department will also hire two extra workers to assist with 150 acres of expected new park land in 2022.
Yes, but: The city budget relies heavily on income tax revenue, which is forecasted to take a significant hit in 2022.
- That's due to area residents working from home outside the Columbus city limits during the pandemic.
Details: Seeking greater spending amid revenue loss, Ginther proposes to use rebate money from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation received in 2020, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
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