Review process needed for construction projects
From: Karen Shrode
Received Oct. 17
Recent events concerning the design of the Fourth Street gates have highlighted the need for a comprehensive, integrated design review process for all significant public construction projects.
With the creation of the Arts District, the governance structure provides for such a mechanism. A design team is being formed to work in close partnership with various city departments, community stakeholders and community members. The team will serve to support existing operations and processes. Its focus will include, among other things, advocating for the protection of extant cultural treasures, the creation and oversight of district design standards, fostering communications between city government and the community regarding design issues, and leveraging initiatives such as the Cummins Foundation Architecture Program.
I am confident that everyone involved with the “gates debate” had, and has, the best of intentions. That said, much of the confusion surrounding the project might have been alleviated with a systematic design review process. The design team being formed will provide such a platform to ensure continuous communication between all parties and will serve to foster a common set of shared outcomes for Columbus.
Higher property tax for Pre-K an unfair burden
From: Robert Miller
Received: Oct. 16
This is in response to your request for comments on increasing property taxes to fund Pre-K programs in Columbus. I think this is an unfair burden on many of the very people that the tax is trying to help. Has any thought been given to using TIF money to fund or partially fund the program? As the article in Sunday’s paper from Paul Minnis states, Cummins sees a great benefit to both employers and employees if such a program exists. I think by definition that would qualify as a TIF project. I think if it does not now, the TIF or Pre-K program should be modified so it does. If the city is willing to spend $200,000 for gates that will be used only occasionally, $75,000 to light the Interstate 65 bridge, not to mention the proposed ball fields that would have cost millions of dollars, surely there must be a way to fund such a worthwhile program without placing an additional burden on the tax payers.
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