Residential input needed for improvements to neighborhoods

By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

The Columbus City Council is currently preparing its annual capital improvements budget and capital improvements plan. The process of putting together the massive multi-year funding project involves engagement with the local area commissions to solicit ideas on which infrastructure projects the community believes should be prioritized by the city.

In order to assist the city officials during the engagement process, the Greater Hilltop Area Commission recently announced the launch of a survey which will allow residents to give input on how their neighborhood could benefit from investments to the infrastructure.

“It is incredibly important that we get the community involved in this process,” said commissioner Dean Smith. “I think a budget, any budget, should reflect the community’s values and I think the best way to capture those values is through community input.”

The survey went live on the commission’s official website and on its social media pages late last month. It is a nine question survey that asks residents which infrastructure projects should be prioritized in regard to public utilities, public service, and amenities at local parks and recreation centers.

So far, only a dozen residents have responded to the survey.

The commission said it will reach out to area businesses and organizations for their ideas on funding priorities related to infrastructure investments. The nine committees of the commission will also offer their own feedback on priorities related to infrastructure investments.

Commissioner Joe Argiro, who is the chair of the human services and education committee, said their members have been conducting virtual scans of the infrastructure around the schools.

“We are looking for places where there might not be sidewalks in an immediate block around a school, where there might not be clear signage on the street,” he said. “We are also looking at roads where it might be beneficial to have speed bumps.”

He encouraged residents to do their own survey of the neighborhoods, jotting down ways they think it could be improved through additional street lighting, curb replacements, or other infrastructure investments.

“They could be little things which could improve the whole thing,” said Argiro.

The survey can be accessed through the commission’s website at cbusareacommissions.org/greater-hilltop or through its social media pages at Facebook and Instagram. The commission has not yet heard from the city as to when they would like the results of the survey to be submitted. A city official who attended the March 5 GHAC meeting said it would likely be in April or May.

 

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