By JOY BROWN
Making good on a pledge to focus more on capital improvement projects, Findlay administrators today are expected to present a plan that would more than double last year’s spending.
The proposal calls for City Council to approve more than $8 million in projects and debt payments. In 2013, $3.8 million was approved.
The capital improvements fund this year will receive a larger share of city income tax revenue, increasing its cut from 16 percent to 17 percent. The city’s goal is to eventually return that tax allocation to at least 20 percent.
During robust economic years in the past, 22 percent of the tax collection went to capital improvements. During the Great Recession, the amount was reduced to 8 percent.
Street resurfacing and preventive maintenance, which took significant financial hits during the recession, will again be receiving more attention this year.
Last year, the city spent $1.4 million of its own money and $600,000 from the state on those types of projects. This year’s proposal calls for spending $1.85 million.
Other expensive projects in the works include $300,000 to help Hancock County clean Dalzell Ditch within the city, and $150,000 for cleaning Oil Ditch.
Safety-Service Director Paul Schmelzer didn’t immediately respond to a Wednesday email seeking more information about Oil Ditch.
City officials will also propose spending $350,000 on a “downtown revitalization plan,” details of which have not been outlined.
A total of $572,000 is being carried over from last year for renovations to a building on West Main Cross Street where city officials intended to house the city Health Department. Ongoing discussions with the county about merging the city and county health departments have put the city agency’s relocation on hold.
Intersection improvements at Sandusky and South West streets, Lima Avenue and South West Street, North Main Street and Bigelow Avenue, Blanchard Street and Crystal Avenue, and North Main Street and Crystal Avenue are being proposed.
The Multi-Agency Radio Communication System radios that city emergency workers use will get a $400,000 upgrade, mandated by the state.
Also, administrators are seeking $100,000 to be spent on window replacements on the west side of the Findlay Municipal Building’s second floor.
The 2014 plan, along with a five-year capital improvements plan, will be introduced at a meeting of City Council’s Appropriations Committee scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building’s third-floor conference room.
The 2014 and five-year plans won’t become official until council votes on ordinances that include them.
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