As the city plans major budget cuts for 2009, the Clintonville Area Commission could be looking for ways to help maintain services.

As the city plans major budget cuts for 2009, the Clintonville Area Commission could be looking for ways to help maintain services.

"That's still a little early to know," said CAC Chairwoman D Searcy. "Obviously, that's going to mean some changes."

The true effects of the budget cuts on Clintonville won't be known until the final version of the budget is approved in late January or early February, Searcy said, but it is certain that Clintonville will be affected, as the 2009 Rose Festival already has been canceled.

"The Rose Festival's been going on for years, and it really highlights one of our biggest assets," Searcy said. "I think that's an important thing to get done."

With the festival canceled, Searcy said she could see the CAC working with other community groups to drum up support to keep it going in some form.

On a larger scale, Searcy said she would like to see the CAC provide overall input to the city on the proposed budget.

The commission is looking at passing a resolution at its January meeting encouraging Columbus City Council to consider the long-term effect of the proposed budget cuts.

"Those are things that have long-term implications," Searcy said of cuts to health care programs and recreation centers. "We need to be looking at what are the long-term implications of those lasting cuts."

Also in 2009, Searcy said the CAC will make recommendations to the city regarding the expenditure of funds to improve pedestrian crosswalks on North High Street.

In September, the CAC voted to spend $565,000 in urban infrastructure improvement funds allocated to the neighborhood on improvements to crosswalks and a portion of sidewalk on North High Street.

Shortly after, Searcy formed a task force to look at which intersections funds should be applied to. That task force will have its first meeting in mid-January, she said.

The city is working on a list of possible treatments for the intersections that the task force will be able to consider.

"They'll look at a list of treatments, see what the possibilities are," Searcy said.

Searcy said she would like to see the task force come out with its recommendations by March or April, giving the CAC to time to have public hearings on the recommendations and to approve a final proposal early enough in the year for the city to complete the project in 2009.

The city also should complete the sidewalk improvements this year. Those improvements are planned for the sidewalk along the east side of North High Street from Overbrook Drive to Croswell Road.

jnesbitt@thisweeknews.com