Several hundred people gathered Tuesday night in east Columbus to protest a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
Columbus Council Approves Spending For Impound Lot
Columbus city council voted to spend $4,000,000 for development of a new police impound lot on the southside. But, the plan prompted complaints by some nearby residents.
Council wants to fast track legislation to pay land-owner Shelley materials $3,900,000 million to put in roads, utility service and backfill the 53 acre site south of Frank Road so that it it above flood level. Approval came despite complaints by some residents of nearby Scioto Village. Dave Bonner of Phelps Road sarcastically voiced complaints during a hastily called meeting prior to the council vote at the Community House on Innis Street.
“The amount of dust stirred up, the gravel, the noise. The simple fact that it is a city impound lot. And we know what city impound lots look like and what they bring in. And since the city’s done such a good job of taking care of the one on Whittier street, we just don’t want it in our backyard,” Says Bonner.
Bonner argued unsuccessfully that the proposed impound lot should be moved north, closer to Frank Road and away from residents. He said the closeness of the impound lot will likely hurt his property value. “I’m sure it will because nobody wants to buy next to an impound lot. But, I plan on staying there,” Says Bonner.
City spokesman Paul Rakosky says a natural buffer and access roads away from the development will limit any negative impact on adjacent residents. He said the new impound lot will be slightly smaller than the lot on Whittier Street. But, Rakosky said operational changes will limit the number of vehicles stored on the lot at any given time.
“A lot of the changes that have occurred operationally are trying to move the cars out of the lot more quickly and not hold on to cars as long,” Rakosky says.
Rakosky adds that the city also faces a deadline since it’s signed agreements with Metroparks to clear the current impound lot on Whittier street.
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