A new crime lab for the Police Division and a replacement for the city's busiest fire station are included in $124 million in projects and legislation approved by the Columbus City Council yesterday. The council also gave the green light to send an $842 million bond package to the Franklin County Board of Elections for the November ballot. Both votes were unanimous.
A new crime lab for the Police Division and a replacement for the city’s busiest fire station are included in $124 million in projects and legislation approved by the Columbus City Council yesterday.
The council also gave the green light to send an $842 million bond package to the Franklin County Board of Elections for the November ballot. Both votes were unanimous.
The city puts a large bond package on the ballot about every five years to fund capital-improvement projects such as new buildings and water, sewer, trash and electricity improvements.
Voters must approve the bond issue so the city can secure low-interest loans. Voter approval also would give the City Council the authority to raise property taxes if income-tax revenues did not cover the interest from those bonds.
The crime lab and fire station will be funded through a municipal bond package that voters approved in 2008.
The existing crime lab is on leased space on Ohio State University’s campus. As the city’s population has increased, so has the amount of evidence it has to process, city officials said.
The lab processes DNA samples, alcohol and drug toxicology samples, fingerprints and other forensic evidence collected by officers at a crime scene.
A new crime lab will cost $11.2 million and join the Columbus Police Division’s property room at 770 E. Woodrow Ave. Thomas and Marker Construction Co., the lowest bidder of nine companies, will build the lab.
“This will save time and space and create efficiency within the Division of Police,” Councilwoman Michelle Mills said.
Thomas and Marker also will be paid $8.2 million to construct a new firehouse on property that the city owns at Greenlawn Avenue and Scioto Boulevard for Fire Station 2, now in a cramped facility at 150 E. Fulton St.
Firefighters at Station 2 cover the Downtown area, mainly south of Broad Street. Firefighters and medics there made about 19,500 runs in 2012, about 3,000 more than any other station in the city.
The 50-year-old station at E. Fulton will be demolished and eventually rebuilt at some point, though city officials have no timetable for that project.
Other expenditures approved by the City Council last night included:
• $10.3 million for the city’s third phase of a record $32 million street-resurfacing plan. Major sections of Bethel Road between Bentley Lane and Olentangy River Road, as well as Olentangy River Road south of Henderson Road to Riverside Methodist Hospital, are slated for work.
The project also will install wheelchair ramps on sidewalks. The Shelly Co. of Columbus will perform the work beginning next month.
• $37.6 million to bring the Dublin Road Water Treatment Plant into compliance with the new Ohio Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.
New electrical systems, basins to treat the water, new pipelines to carry chemicals and storage tanks will be purchased with the money.
• $4.5 million to demolish Maryland Pool, at 1380 Atcheson St. on the Near East Side, to make way for a new swimming pool to open at that location next summer.