The First Suburbs Consortium met in Columbus on Wednesday, October 7 for their Legislative Workshop. The workshop featured various speakers including a Presentation to the Legislators on “What are Ohio’s First Suburbs?”, a Legislators Panel on “What is on the Horizon and Its Impact on First Suburbs?” and a Discussion with ODOT and ODOD. First suburbs are communities that generally lie within the interstate beltway. They tend to be older and within the first ring of suburbs that surround the city. While they may vary in terms of economic background, they all share certain interests and commonalities. These communities are very concerned over the fiscal squeeze Ohio is experiencing due to state budget concerns. The Local Government Fund was mentioned as potentially “being in danger” of being diverted in the next budget, so First Suburbs were encouraged to start building the case now for the importance of maintaining it.
Greater Ohio’s Co-Director Gene Krebs also gave a presentation and touched on items that we are working on that impact suburbs. Number one is fix-it-first:
ODOT Analysis of Fiscal Impacts of Maintaining State Routes in Cities: The state needs to target money in a manner that rewards the most bang for the buck and the analysis by ODOT should cast light on the impact. Since these roads get the most traffic, targeting state money to the roads that get the most wear and tear makes sense, and the money freed up can be used for police and transit in the cities. The cities most impacted are smaller cities (not the three Cs),the second tier in population and the county seats in smaller counties. The study is due December 15, 2009.