Street Lighting Is Highest Priority

If nothing else was apparent after the May 16, 2012 Harrison West Society meeting, it became clear that Harrison West’s number one priority improvement is to replace existing street lights with acorn lights that match those in Harrison Park.

Attendees at the meeting reviewed a list of possible improvements, and each chose the five items from the list that he or she felt were most important, ranking them from one to five in order of priority. We compiled the results by adding the number of 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s that each item received then weighted them so that 1s were most important, 2s were of secondary importance, and so on. The total number of 1s for each item was multiplied by 5, the total number of 2s was multiplied by 4, etc. For example, the kayak and canoe portage line item received one 1, two 2s, two 3s, zero 4s, and one 5. Weighting the value of each ranking produced:

1s: 1 x 5 = 5
2s: 2 x 4 = 8
3s: 2 x 3 = 6
4s: 0 x 2 = 0
5s: 1 x 1 = 1
Weighted Total: 20

Street lighting received a weighted score of 77. Rounding out the top five priorities are: bike path behind Superior Beverage (41); replace asphalt streets with brick where possible and repair existing brick streets (39); bury power lines wherever possible (31) and community garden (29). The only item to receive no votes was the butterfly garden.

Funding for these projects comes from various sources, each of which has its own requirements. The Gowdy Field stipend, for example, is earmarked for green space acquisition and improvement and would be a good funding source for a community garden. We also have TIF funds, which have fewer use restrictions and could be targeted at street, lighting and overhead-line improvements. The society is also planning to apply for Urban Infrastructure Recovery Funds, which can be used for any of our priorities. However, several years ago the society and the architects of the UIRF grants identified projects in our neighborhood that they wanted to see completed. If we target our application at one of those projects, we are more likely to win a grant. We will likely try to get funds for the bike path through UIRF and save the Gowdy Field funds for other parks and green space items. The deadline for the UIRF application is approaching rapidly, so the society decided to empower the officers to move forward on our top five items without further discussion by the society.

We now have a fairly extensive list of neighborhood projects to be completed. If you haven’t volunteered to help make Harrison West the best neighborhood in Columbus in which to live, work and play, now is your chance. Volunteer to help see one or more of our priority items through to completion.

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