Mayor Andrew Ginther formally introduces his capital improvement budget at Monday’s Columbus City Council meeting.
The $940 million budget goes toward physical improvements around the city, including a real-time crime center.
Spokeswoman Robin Davis explains the idea is to help first responders make sense of data quickly from a broad array of sources.
“From neighborhood cameras, from our new ShotSpotter technology,” she says. “What we’re looking for in a real-time crime center is one, single place where we can gather and analyze all of that data.”
The center itself still a ways off. This year’s budget would earmark money for planning and design purposes, but Davis says law enforcement’s increasing reliance on data isn’t going away.
"We know that this something that we not only need now but going into the future,” she says
When it comes to more traditional infrastructure spending, the mayor's plan puts $30 million toward street repaving and construction. But just like last year, the lion’s share of spending would go toward water and sewer work.
"The biggest part of our capital improvements budget always goes to what we call unseen infrastructure, which is to pay for water and sewer improvements and infrastructure," Davis says. "Things that we take for granted, but you want to be able to turn on your tap and get a glass of water, flush your toilet, be able to take a shower."
Also, for the first time, the city plans to use capital improvement dollars to support early childhood development. The spending plan proposes putting $14 million toward an early learning center in the Hilltop.