Subscribe for 17¢ / day

COLUMBUS – Now it’s up to city voters to have the final word on whether they want to continue a half-cent sales to provide the funding for separate police and fire stations.

Columbus City Council members offered their final pitch Tuesday night before voting to put the $16 million bond issue question before voters during the May 15 primary election.

Those bonds would be repaid using revenue from the local half-cent sales tax voters already extended in May 2016. City projections call for the police and fire stations to be paid off in 15 years.

“The highlight of this plan is that it’s an existing tax,” Mayor Jim Bullkley summed up before the council vote.

“Rest assured, we feel very comfortable with the city’s financial condition,” the mayor told onlookers Tuesday.

Those bonds would be repaid using revenue from the local half-cent sales tax voters already extended in May 2016. City projections call for the police and fire stations to be paid off in 15 years.

The half-cent sales tax collections would go away if voters reject the bond issue. Earlier this month, officials reported the local half-cent sale tax revenue during the last two years is now nearing $2 million.

The bond issue will call for a downtown police station on the corner of 14th Street and 23rd Avenue, the former home of Gene Steffy Ford.

The city already owns the site in anticipation of building a new library/cultural arts center that voters rejected. The proposed facilities are designed to have more than 40-plus year life spans to serve the community’s future growth.

Last month, the council approved a two-year option-to-purchase agreement for three parcels of land just north of Howard Boulevard/U.S. Highway 81 between 46th and 47th avenues.

The new station would be on the west edge of Columbus where the fire department gets most of its calls, primarily for rescue services.

The bond issue also includes the demolition costs of the old fire station and the former Gene Steffy building site.  

The price tags are $135,000 to demolish the existing fire station at 1459 26th Ave. and $75,000 to raze the old Steffy showroom at 2310 14th St.

Officials plan to discuss adding living quarters to the C.W. Louis Fire Station on the city's southeast side along Eighth Street so some staff could be based there.

That station, located along Eighth Street, is currently an unmanned facility used to store equipment.

0
0
0
0
0

Reporter

Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

Load comments