The German Village Society will have to wait on improvements to South Third Street.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has told the society upgrades are not recommended in the 2018 capital improvements budget, which has yet to be passed by Columbus City Council.
Shiloh Todorov, the German Village Society's executive director, said a year's worth of planning, public gatherings and meetings with city officials did not result in the city's $7 million contribution to the highly anticipated restructuring of the neighborhood's most visible commercial corridor.
Todorov downplayed frustration with the city but strongly noted that the "community has been championing the project for 17 years."
But in an e-newsletter sent Nov. 15 to society members and associates, Todorov perhaps showed a little more exasperation with the process.
"Back in May 2016, (the) German Village Society held a forum about the Third Street project and about 100 neighbors attended," she wrote. "The gathering delivered a very straightforward, nearly unanimous message: Proceed on the Third Street project. Throw everything you've got at it, including the kitchen sink. Boy, did we do that."
The 12-month "full-court press," led by local attorney Nelson Genshaft, included "countless" meetings with city officials, attorney fees, a professional "economic snapshot" of the village and "finding true friends and advocates" in City Council members Elizabeth Brown and Michael Stinziano.
"It didn't get our project funded," Todorov said. "And now the mayor's office is telling us 'any promises made were made by a previous administration' -- in spite of all those Ginther administration hours of meetings. We're told that we can come back later and ask again, but it isn't a priority now for the city."
The city already has spent about $750,000 since 2010 to develop a comprehensive plan for improvements to South Third.
The proposal to improve the infrastructure and functionality of South Third includes things such as street resurfacing, new pedestrian lighting, adding a bike lane and cleaning up signage and utilities.
The public will be invited to a public hearing on the capital-improvements budget, said Lee Cole, a City Council spokeswoman.
"Mayor Ginther appreciates the organized, thoughtful advocacy of the German Village residents and the pride they have in their community," Robin Davis, the mayor's spokeswoman, said in a prepared statement.
"His administration remains committed to meeting the needs of all Columbus neighborhoods, with a clear focus on neighborhoods that have not shared in our city's success.
"As we assess capital projects for 2018, we will continue to invest in projects that strengthen public safety and quality of life for our residents."
Todorov said the city and the Ohio Department of Transportation are working on the Interstate 70-Interstate 71 Interchange project, which will result in major transformations on the northern boundaries of the historic district.
"There are so many things going on in the north side of the neighborhood it makes sense to look at those as one piece," which should include South Third Street, she said.