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Central Ohio Group Issues

This article was submitted for the November / December 2004  issue of the newsletter.

Sierra Club Supports Columbus Bond Issues for Storm Sewers, Parks

By
The City of Columbus has 8 separate bond issues on the November ballot. Only residents of Columbus will vote on these issues, although residents of many areas outside Columbus city limits will be impacted.

The Central Ohio Sierra Club is pleased to announce that we are supporting Columbus Bond Issues #10 (Storm Sewers) and # 11 (Recreation and Parks). The Group has not taken a position on the other 6 Columbus Bond Issues.

A brief overview of the bond issues is as follows:

·   Issue #4—Safety and Health (facilities for the Dept. of Public Safety), $40.7 million.

·   Issue #5—Refuse Collection, $21.1 million. We encourage the city to spend a portion of these funds to develop a comprehensive recycling program.

·   Issue #6—Electricity, $12.2 million. We do not think street lights are necessary in every neighborhood.

·   Issue #7—Streets and Highways, $184.4 million. Bikeways are mentioned in the ballot language and should receive more funding.  We encourage the city to use funds for studies and implementation of mass transit and light rail, which are not mentioned.

·   Issue #8—Sanitary Sewers, $95.8 million. Columbus badly needs to upgrade its sanitary sewer system.  We encourage the city to spend money for upgrades and repairs, and not for extending new sewers at the edges of the city.

·   Issue #9—Water, $100 million.  The city is planning for 3 upground reservoirs in Delaware County, on tributaries of the Scioto River. Our Group has not evaluated the pros and cons of this plan, but the environmental impacts will be large. We encourage the city to institute water conservation programs, such as minimizing watering of lawns. The city will no doubt use part of this money for the Big Walnut Raw Water Line, which the Sierra Club has opposed.

·   Issue #10—Storm Sewers, $104.2 million. We support this issue, as Columbus’ storm sewer must be upgraded. The city has been working on a new Storm Water Manual which should be helpful in guiding them toward improved conservation practices.  We encourage use of these funds to separate storm water completely from sanitary sewers in combined sewer areas. We do not support expansion of storm sewers to outlying areas, and discourage piping and culverting of streams and ditches. The goal is healthy green corridors along waterways, with retention and infiltration of water on-site.

·   Issue #11—Recreation and Parks, $46.6 million.  The Sierra Club strongly supports funding for Recreation and Parks.  We encourage the city to allocate sizeable funding for acquisition of sensitive areas, especially those areas near waterways. We discourage use of funds for renovation of shopping center areas.

Columbus discusses the bond package. More information on how your neighborhood might benefit from each issue. Voters should be aware that neither the ballot language nor any official statement by the city constitutes an obligation as to how the money will actually be spent.

 

The Central Ohio Sierra Club is pleased to announce that we are supporting Columbus Bond Issues #10 (Storm Sewers) and # 11 (Recreation and Parks).
Voters should be aware that neither the ballot language nor any official statement by the city constitutes an obligation as to how the money will actually be spent.

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