German Village Gazette

Urban Infrastructure Recovery Funds

City agrees to look at Village's project request


City of Columbus officials say they are willing to take a closer look at repairing the brick on portions of nine streets in German Village.

Mark Dravillas, neighborhood planning manager for the city, said the Village has passed an important first step in securing a portion of Urban Infrastructure Recovery Funds.

"Without any guarantees, it could be further investigated," Dravillas said. "It could be a possibility."

The society's civic relations committee submitted a request to the city seeking full reconstruction of portions of Mohawk, Beck, Sycamore, Kossuth, Frankfort, Sixth, Jaeger and Pearl streets, and Macon Alley.

Dravillas said the city has indicated it would not be inclined to do total reconstruction, but will assess the request and conduct a cost analysis of the work.

"Now we need to sharpen our pencils, see what dollars we have available and do further investigation," he said.

German Village is among 12 neighborhoods seeking a cut of $6.5 million in UIRF money in the current round of funding.

"A really important step for the city now is we need to look at the available funding and our charge is we need to make sure there is equitable distribution throughout UIRF neighborhoods," Dravillas said.

"We can only do what we can do and we'll really only know that when we get some cost estimates and see what funding is available for the area."

Shiloh Todorov, executive director of the German Village Society said the board of trustees will be asked to sign off on the city's proposal once cost estimates are available.

The hope is to have that done by July 15.

Todorov said the Village needs a curb-repair plan in place in the near future, irrespective of whether it is part of UIRF.

Todorov said of more immediate concern is sidewalk repair.

Dravillas, meanwhile, said only new sidewalks, not repair, are eligible for UIRF money.

The Society also asked for limestone curb replacement, something that is also under consideration, Dravillas said.

He said the city could pare down the society's UIRF request, or that of any neighborhood seeking money.

"Where we're at is, we need to work out an understanding that they'd be happy with and we can afford to do," he said.