Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman Releases Proposed 2012 Budget

Mayor Coleman releasing his 2012 budget proposal for the city of Columbus(Photo: Sam Hendren, WOSU)
Mayor Coleman releasing his 2012 budget proposal for the city of Columbus(Photo: Sam Hendren, WOSU)

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman unveiled his proposed 2012 budget on Tuesday. About 70 percent of the $735 million budget will be used to fund public safety.

It was Mayor Coleman’s 12th annual budget proposal. Coleman said it would bring the number of police and firefighters to record levels.

“By the end of 2012, we will have more police and firefighters than at any time in the history of the city of Columbus,” Coleman said. “And that’s something I’m very proud of.”

Coleman said he’d fight crime in the city through other means, too. He said the summer strike force would be deployed again next summer. He also wants more neighborhood surveillance cameras. And, Coleman said, he wants more intervention in the lives of young people before they turn to crime.

Coleman also wants to set aside money to cope with cuts in state aid that are expected to occur in 2013.

“This budget will be $735 million. We will take $19 million of that and set it into reserves for future years,” Coleman said.

The money breaks down this way:
 $7 million to the Rainy Day Fund
 $2.1 million for an upcoming 27th pay period
 $10 million for a basic neighborhood services fund for 2013

Coleman also spoke about the work the city should be doing in future years. He said part of that is saving the city’s South Side…

“This is an area where 40 percent don’t have a high school diploma; this is an area of the city where one in five houses is vacant and abandoned. This is an area where poverty is off the chart. And this is an area where unemployment is in the 20 percents,” Coleman said.

Coleman said he wants to ramp up the demolition of houses in Columbus that cannot be rebuilt or renovated.

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