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A New Process to Identify UIRF Projects

city of columbus uirfThe city of Columbus is seeking proposals for neighborhood capital improvement projects as part of the Urban Infrastructure Recovery Fund (UIRF) program. The UIRF program was established in 1992 by (then Council Member, now Mayor) Michael Coleman to address capital improvement needs in central city neighborhoods. Since its beginning, UIRF has funded 400 projects. At present, 392 projects have completed construction. UIRF has provided more than $60 million for the rebuilding of Columbus’ older neighborhoods.

Potential capital improvements that may be funded by the UIRF program include:

  • Park improvements
  • Street trees
  • Multi-use asphalt path or other bike facility (lanes or sharrows)
  • Street Lighting – standard, “cobra head”
  • Street lighting – decorative (only eligible within commercial districts)
  • Stream related improvements
  • Alley repair
  • New sidewalks (not sidewalk repair, which is not eligible)
  • Intersection or road improvements (addition of turn or travel lanes for cars)
  • Curb replacements
  • Road “diet” (removing a travel lane for cars to narrow road)
  • Planted median
  • Curb ramps (new or repair)
  • Intersection “bump outs”
  • Other traffic calming

In 2012, the Harrison West Society asked for feedback from the neighborhood on priority improvements. Replacing existing street lights with acorn lights that match those in Harrison Park was a top priority along with several other suggestions. The results of the feedback and list of priorities from neighbors can be found here.

A new process is now being used to identify UIRF projects. The revised process will result in the replacement of the previously used application cycle with lists of city and community approved projects that the city could implement on an ongoing basis. This change is being made to increase program efficiency, create a stronger connection between adopted city neighborhood plans and other city initiatives and strengthen coordination between the participating city departments. The new process is summarized below:

  • Projects may be suggested by residents and organizations via the project website survey until March 15, 2014.
  • The projects suggested through the website will then be reviewed by city staff in order to identify which are eligible for UIRF funding.
  • The staff-reviewed lists will then be sent back to the community leadership.
  • This list will then serve as that area’s UIRF priority list and be implemented on an ongoing basis, provided funds are available.

Additional information and the website survey are available at: http://development.columbus.gov/UIRFprogram.aspx

Questions may be emailed to uirf@columbus.gov

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