You've seen the mayor's and Columbus City Council's list of capital projects for the year ahead -- it has been widely published -- and our Third Street project didn't make the cut.
Because this community has been energetically involved with this project for 16 years, I wanted to update you on what we know -- and when we'll know more.
First, several members of the city administration and City Council have shared over and over again that they are very supportive of the project. They've applauded our tireless, grassroots campaign and our approach to keeping decision-makers informed.
They love how many meetings we've held to keep neighbors dialed in and on board. They are impressed by the letters of support they received from other significant stakeholders, such as the South Side Area Commission, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Schumacher Place, Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District Executive Director Cleve Ricksecker, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and more.
We found our champions on council in Elizabeth Brown and Michael Stinziano, but when the tallies came in for a city's worth of projects, they have higher priorities for limited dollars.
This does not sound like a win -- but I'm told it is huge.
The project was included on the short list of "unfunded" projects. Making the list at all is no small achievement, because it suggests the project will be funded at some later date.
Now to figuring out the whens and hows.
I, along with Advocacy Board Liaison Joshua Zimmerman and longtime Third Street Chairman Nelson Genshaft have a meeting with Greg Davies, Mayor Andy Ginther's chief of staff May 22.
That's where we will ask to nail down a likely timeline for this project -- from design through completion -- and how it will be funded.
Depending on what we learn during that meeting, German Village Society officials might look to withdraw our commitment made to the city last summer to use the remaining Urban Infrastructure Reinvestment Fund money for other projects.
After last spring's community meeting, where 92 percent of attendees indicated we should put the German Village Society's resources into Third Street -- "full-speed ahead" -- the board wrote a letter to city officials earmarking our remaining $487,000 of UIRF funds for the Third Street project.
Depending on Davies' direction, the Society might choose to fund other improvement projects in the Village with that money.
The improvements that are planned on Third Street are greatly needed and will benefit our residents.
Because German Village is a tourist destination and a recruiting tool for Columbus companies, we see this project as contributing not only to the safety of residents and improvement of property in the Village, but also to the economic development of the entire area.
We are disappointed not to have made this year's budget, but not discouraged from our pursuit of the project.
We firmly believe it will happen. Stay tuned.
German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column .