Gahanna

Five-year needs assessment shows where funds would go

Wednesday October 23, 2013 3:13 PM

To the Editor:

A major component of the city's planning process is the five-year capital-needs assessment. This document determines our ability to fund current and future capital improvements.

On Oct. 15, the updated assessment was presented to City Council. The document reflects the years 2014-18 and includes projects that are needed to maintain our existing city assets, infrastructure and quality of life. It is a realistic assessment based on our citizen surveys, master plans, community interaction and professional knowledge.

The total for capital projects needed over the next five years is $50,800,000; the amount needed in 2014 is $9,700,000. However, at our current tax rate, we can fund only 25 percent of our identified needs. The 75 percent of projects that we cannot fund will again be deferred to later years, most likely at greater cost, and compounds the funding gap we face in the future.

Voters will decide the future of Gahanna by voting whether to increase the income-tax rate for people who work in our city. The income generated would be used to sustain services currently provided to the community and restore many services to pre-recession levels, especially badly needed street repairs and parks maintenance. Capital investments and projects throughout the community would be fully funded, including completion of the Big Walnut Trail system, rebuilding the failing, 50-year-old Gahanna swimming pool and completing installation of new street signs.

We encourage you to take a close look at the five-year needs assessment or executive summary at gahanna.gov. See for yourself exactly how the city plans to spend the much-needed additional funding the tax-reform proposal (Issue 17) would bring. If you have questions, contact me at brandi.braun@gahanna.gov.

Brandi Braun
Gahanna assistant city administrator

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