The city's budget development team, which includes City Administrator
Although specific action won't be taken Tuesday night, when the city council is expected to approve the 2014-15 budget during a meeting set for
In the memo, he called the proposed library/cultural arts center a "focal point and anchor to downtown revitalization."
The approximately 60,000-square-foot, two-story building would be constructed along
The budget team's financing plan for this project includes both private funding -- Mangiamelli has said he wants at least half the total cost to be covered by donations and grants -- as well as revenue from another local sales tax.
The library financing plan would ask voters to add either an additional quarter- or half-cent local sales tax, with the latter option allowing the city to repay bonds issued to pay for the project earlier, reducing interest costs.
The additional local sales tax, which would take the city's total to either 1.75 or 2 percent, would expire when debt from the library project is repaid.
Supporters of the library/cultural arts center say it's necessary to improve library services, provide sufficient space for
Before the center can be constructed, the former Columbus Senior Center building, downtown fire station and a private business must be demolished.
The aging fire station could be replaced with a public safety services center that houses the fire and police departments and 911 dispatch center.
City officials expect to hear back soon from a local engineering firm hired to look at possible locations for the joint emergency services center, which would occupy approximately 68,000 square feet and cost about
The city originally targeted the former Walmart building at
The budget team's funding plan for this project uses revenue from the existing half-cent local sales tax and a property tax increase.
Three options outlined in the memo raise the city's property tax levy by 3, 4 or
Voters would need to approve an extension of the half-cent sales tax, which will expire when bonds issued for the
"The combination of property and sales taxes minimizes the burden of this project on residents and provides for the investment in the community by visitors," Mangiamelli said in the memo.
Mangiamelli also noted that low interest rates make it an attractive time to move forward with the two centers, which he believes will compliment projects planned or started by
"These entities are either nearing completion, underway or initiating significant investments in the community to meet future needs and the city must do the same," he said.
Mangiamelli said completing the library/cultural arts center and public safety services center would show residents the city is progressive and values its citizens.
"It might be said that these investments are long overdue, however, this is an opportunity that may not present itself again and moving forward can leave a lasting legacy for future generations of
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