One of the main responsibilities of municipal government is to provide basic services to the community, such as drinking water, transportation routes, sewage disposal, open public spaces and emergency response.
In a community like Worthington, the city government should provide not only the basics but also additional services and amenities that contribute to a high quality of life, such as our community center, Griswold Center, playgrounds, sports fields, leaf removal at the curb. and attractive streetscapes.
These services require regular and intentional investments in infrastructure, such as streets, multi-use paths, municipal buildings, water pipes, sanitary and storm sewers, parks, vehicles and equipment.
Given the high costs associated with infrastructure investments, the city is adopting a five-year capital improvement program that sets out the city’s planned investments, limited by the funding that should be available. This five-year program is updated annually in the fall in conjunction with the City’s operating budget. The CIP for 2022-2026 was adopted by Worthington City Council on December 6.
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The CIP adopted by the city is the result of months of discussion and review as various competing investment demands are considered.
Our community is over 200 years old and much of our infrastructure has been around for many decades. As a result, a large part of the CIP is devoted to infrastructure maintenance after evaluating the condition of our sewer, water, streets, buildings and park facilities in order to prioritize the needs. more important.
The 2022-2026 PIC includes two major sewer replacement projects in South Worthington to reduce the frequency of sanitary sewer overflows and back-ups related to insufficient capacity.
The CIP also includes five water pipe projects to replace old pipes that are prone to rupture.
The city’s buildings are aging, which is why a number of projects are planned to replace HVAC systems that are at the end of their useful life and to maintain the condition of our most used facilities.
As usual, we will also be replacing several play areas, focusing on the older ones.
In addition to focusing on the projects needed to maintain our infrastructure, the city also devotes a significant portion of PIC funding to replacing vehicles and equipment in order to provide services to the community. Some vehicles, such as fire trucks, ambulances, sewer surveillance and cleaning vehicles, and dump trucks with snowplows are particularly expensive. However, there are still other lower cost vehicles such as police cars, lawn mowers, and vans that need to be replaced every year.
Once these infrastructure, vehicle and equipment needs have been taken into account, the City is looking for funds to devote to new and improvement projects.
ICP 2022-2026 includes funding to complete improvements to McCord Park that began this year, investments in bike and walking paths, and streetscape improvements at the intersection of North and High Streets.
It also includes the Worthington portion of a major project at the intersection of National Highway 161 and Linworth Highway being planned in coordination with the Ohio Department of Transportation, the County Engineer’s Office of Franklin, the City of Columbus and the Township of Perry. This is an important project that will take several years to design and build and which will improve vehicle congestion while adding bicycle and pedestrian links.
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The CIP is guided by the priorities of the city council, the plans adopted by the city and the comments of residents. Further information on the CIP, its development and financial trends associated with the adopted five-year plan can be found in the CIP document 2022-2026 on the city’s website at worthington.org / budget.
Robyn Stewart is Deputy Director of the City of Worthington.