Columbus Council awards funds for design of new fire station

The Columbus City Council approved funding Monday to begin design work on a new fire station on the northeast sidecover cost increases for a new park near Field, pay for the summer pre-kindergarten program, and provide emergency rental and utility assistance to struggling residents.

The council has also started updating the city’s zoning code, but not the long term major overhaul it is to be developed by consultants and city officials.

Board members approved $1.8 million in capital budget fund to Mull & Weithman Architects for the architectural and engineering design and construction administration of the new No. 36 Fire Station to be located at the southeast corner of Harlem and Central College Roads near New Albany.

The station will be approximately 25,000 square feet with four engine compartments, sleeping quarters, galley, common room, medical storage room, equipment rooms and an EMS public room. Construction is expected to begin in 2023 and is expected to take 18 months to two years, with a total cost, including design, of $12.7 million.

A contract amendment to pay an additional $126,464 for additional design and engineering work to complete the new Olentangy Trail pedestrian link bridge and 3.5-acre park just west of Field also been approved by the board.

“During construction, additional work has been deemed necessary for inclusion in the project by the Department of Utilities,” the order reads, bringing the total contract with Burgess and Niple to just over $1 million.

In early 2020, the same contract was increased by $385,000 to allow final plans for the park space, boat launch, and pedestrian bridge to be tendered and constructed as a single project, and be made before the opening of the new Crew Stadium.

In other business, the board approved the creation of a summer pre-K program through Early Start Columbus, a city grant program, to expand services through a roster of 31 providers who will share 632,500 $ funding. The board also approved $144,500 for the Summer Success Home-Prep Program through The Ohio State University.

The Council also authorized more than $7.1 million in federal emergency rental assistance grants to 13 community agencies. “The funds will be used for emergency rental and utility assistance, support services and targeted outreach to Columbus residents who have not previously accessed emergency rental assistance programs. “, the council said in a press release.

The council-approved zoning changes make dozens of changes to the existing code. In addition to allowing solar energy collection in residential apartment neighborhoods, “planned unit development” neighborhoods and some commercial districts, it also allows:

  • Limits where firewood may be stacked in residential areas zoned “back or side yards”.
  • Adds “sports training or exhibition facilities” to the list of commercial uses that may have dwellings above.
  • Reduced road setback requirements for new buildings in M-1 crafting districts.
  • Imposes new limits on “menu boards” at restaurant pick-up counters, including prohibiting them within 50 feet of a residential area and exceeding six feet in height, and requiring “posted messages to be static , and the transition from one static display to another must be instantaneous to the human eye without any transition effects”, including “wipes, fades or other special effects”.

“The major (zoning) overhaul is still in progress,” said Councilman Rob Dorans, who chairs the zoning committee.


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Rozella J. Cook