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City's money will fund trees, brick crosswalks

Clintonville to spend $475,000 from fund on six local projects

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Clintonville will receive a $475,000 slice of the $6.8-million pie that is the Urban Infrastructure Recovery Fund.

The money will be spent on six projects proposed and approved by the Clintonville Area Commission, Sharon Heights Community Association, Safer Streets for All, Clintonville Area Chamber of Commerce, Clintonville Inc., United Crestview Area Neighbors and the Lower Olentangy Urban Arboretum.

Clintonville ranked seventh among 25 Columbus neighborhoods selected for the projects in terms of dollar amount, behind $595,000 in the north-central part of the city, $575,500 for Innis Garden Village, Driving Park's $550,000, $500,000 for German Village and $490,000 each for east Columbus and northeast Columbus.

In all, 44 projects, together worth $6,887,500, will be funded this year by the UIRF program, which was created more than two decades ago when Mayor Michael B. Coleman was a member of Columbus City Council.

"Our neighborhoods are the lifeblood of our city, and Columbus is thriving because we've never stopped investing in them," Coleman said in a statement. "New sidewalks, streetlights and bike paths in these neighborhoods will continue to improve the quality of life for our residents."

Eighty-six potential projects were forwarded to city officials through area commissions.

"This program puts residents in charge of deciding how to best meet the infrastructure improvement needs in their neighborhood," Councilman Zach M. Klein said in a statement. "Working together with City Hall, community leaders and the UIRF program are building a safer, stronger Columbus."

"It's kind of like when I was a kid and my mother gave me an allowance," Lower Olentangy Urban Arboretum President Mike McLaughlin said last week. "It was nice it was done this way for the first time. The community gets what it wants because it was done through a public forum."

The urban arboretum received $10,000 in UIRF money to plant 334 under-story trees to prevent stormwater runoff into the Olentangy River -- part of an overall $50,000 project to plant 1,000 trees.

"We're really pleased," McLaughlin added.

"It's very satisfying," said Dylan Williams, president of the Sharon Heights Community Association.

His organization's plans to plant trees along both sides of North High Street from Morse Road to the Worthington city limits at Chase Road was awarded $30,000.

"We put a lot of effort into not only figuring out what we wanted as a neighborhood but also collaborating with other groups," Williams added. "It's really great to see it through to fruition.

"In looking at all the other projects and trying to figure out what was holistically good for all of Clintonville, we thought that street trees were our best investment."

Projects planned for the rest of the $475,000 in UIRF money dedicated to Clintonville are:

* $250,000 to build planted medians on North High Street between Como and Clinton Heights avenues and south of Weber Road, and on Indianola Avenue between East North Broadway and Morse Road, and between Milford and Melrose avenues, proposed by the CAC, chamber, Clintonville Inc. and Safer Streets for All.

* $110,000 for brick crosswalks on three sides of the intersection of North High Street and Morse Road and two sides of the intersection of North High Street and Hollenback Road, proposed by the CAC.

* $50,000 for a traffic study to determine the feasibility and possible placement of planted medians on North High Street and Indianola Avenue, proposed by the CAC.

* $25,000 to connect the Glen Echo Park walkway to the steps at the bridge on Indianola Avenue that spans the ravine, proposed by United Crestview Area Neighbors.

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