Columbus Officials Hear From The Public On Long Range Facilities Plan

(Columbus) Columbus’s long-range planning process is beginning to take shape. Officials with MSA Processional Services this week discussed their findings after evaluating the city’s major public facilities including city hall, the Senior Center, the Community Center, the public library and annex, the police and fire stations as well as public works. MSA also evaluated the city’s fiscal conditions and has been working with city staff and the council to draft a plan for investment in those facilities for the next 30 years.

Two priorities MSA highlighted was the fire station and public works. The Columbus Fire Station, built 45-years ago, does not have enough space on site for normal maintenance or emergency vehicles. Its current size is 11,600-square-feet with MSA recommending a new facility at around 21,000-square-feet that would be able to house EMS services. That cost is estimated around $5.8-million-dollars. The Public Works building is located in a floodplain and has various condition issues. MSA says the site of the facility is also considerably small, at 1.7-acres, and suggests construction of a new building on around six to eight acres of land at a cost of $5.4-million-dollars.

MSA says city hall needs routine repairs estimated at $2.5-million. They also recommended a new Community/Senior Center that could be attached to city hall. Other findings covered include building a new 20,000-square-foot library at an estimated cost of $7-million-dollars and combining the city’s police station with their fire station at an additional cost of $4.2-million.

MSA’s recommended timeline would see construction of a new fire station begin in 2023, public works in 2025, Community/Senior Center in 2028, library in 2033, police station in 2040 while city hall repairs would start in 2024 and be finished in 2039. Several funding sources mentioned include raising the city’s levy limit by referendum or capital borrowing.

The current city tax for debt service is $2.14, MSA says borrowing for all capital expenses could increase that amount to $3 in 2024; $4 in 2028; and peak at $4.55 in 2032. City officials hope this summer will see adoption of the investment plan, which is available on the city website: