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Columbus City Council Takes Up Plan To Borrow $1 Billion

highway in Columbus
Gabe Rosenberg

Columbus City Council votes Monday on a series of measures that would place a package of new borrowing proposals on the May ballot.

The plan, unveiled by Mayor Andrew Ginther two weeks ago, asks voters to borrow just over $1 billion to support capital projects throughout Columbus. City leaders are looking to local income tax dollars to pay off the debt, and don't expect they'll need to raise taxes.

The biggest ticket items in the bond package are road resurfacing and water system upgrades, which fall in line with the city’s ongoing capital investments. But among the expenditures are a number of less common proposals—like $50 million for affordable housing and another $130 million for a new municipal courthouse.

The proposals will be broken up into five different questions on the ballot, covering categories like public service or neighborhood development. City officials have to file their resolutions with the board of elections by February 6 to make the May ballot.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.