2013 capital budget emphasizes roads, public safety improvements

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Toledo Mayor Mike Bell has announced the proposed 2013 capital improvement budget for the city of Toledo, which focuses on roads, modernization and fire station improvements.

The capital program has been proposed several months earlier than previous years, in an effort to achieve better rates on materials and construction projects to maximize funds and minimize costs.

"Not only have we been able to do this, we're in the black. We have a rainy day fund, and so compared to where we were at three years ago, we've come a long ways," said Bell.

The budget places an emphasis on the following:

  • Reconstruction and resurfacing of major streets and residential roads
  • Construction and rehabilitation of two city fire stations
  • Continuation of the data-driven policing project
  • Purchase of new police vehicles
  • Construction of a new facility to store the city's road salt
  • Modernization of internal city processes

"We continue to look to our directors and commissioners to be innovative in proposing capital projects that will move the city forward and serve our citizens with the greatest possible benefit," said Bell. "We have not raised taxes, but we continue to provide the services our taxpayers expect and deserve, including paving roads, improving public safety and working to make government easier to access."

More than $44 million will be allocated for road and street construction, repaving and planning, including matching funds from state and local sources. These expenditures will allow for nearly 61 lane miles to begin construction in 2013. Major projects include Secor Road between Central and Monroe, as well as part of Collingwood Boulevard in the Old West End. Approximately 23 of the 61 lane miles are residential roads throughout Toledo's neighborhoods and downtown.

Toledo Fire and Rescue will see rehabilitation of Fire Station No. 3, the city's oldest fire station. In September, the city shuttered the existing station due to structural failure in the floor of the apparatus bay, rendering the building unsafe for firefighters working in the station. The rehabilitation will repair the main station house and add additional space for storage of fire apparatus located at the station.

In order to address additional gaps in coverage in the northern part of the city, an additional station 12 will be built. Construction and rehabilitation of the two fire stations will total approximately $4.5 million from city funds.

The Toledo Police Department will continue to develop the data-driven policing project with allocation of another $380,000 for ongoing enhancement of the ORION project and provide for additional software to support CompStat. The department will also purchase $680,000 worth of new vehicles for officers.

The Division of Streets, Bridges and Harbor will also construct a new facility to store the city's road salt. The previous facility was demolished in 2010 when parts of the facade and roof began to crumble. Salt storage was moved to another shared facility in 2011, but a new longterm building is needed. Construction for the storage facility will cost $600,000.

Finally, the city will propose dedicating nearly $1.3 million for modernization of internal city processes.

The funding will provide:

  • An introduction of an E-recruiting system for the human resources department
  • Accela Automation software for the Department of Inspection to issue, track and manage permits and licenses
  • An electronic time and attendance system in the police department, which is still paper-reliant

The total cost of the proposed projects will take $32 million in city funds and will leverage additional funds from loans and grants through state and federal sources.

The proposed budget ordinance will be included in the legislation presented to City Council at the Dec. 11 agenda review meeting.

View the lists of proposed 2013 capital improvement program projects and roadway projects.

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