by Nick Castele
Cleveland’s mayor plans to spend $27.5 million in the next year to repair city streets and upgrade technology.
Most of this money would pay to fix the roads and bridges in the worst shape in Cleveland. That includes parts of East 55th Street and East 152nd on the east side, and parts of Lorain and Clark Avenues on the west. The city also plans to spend $10 million resurfacing local residential streets.
Another $4 million would pay for technology upgrades for the safety department as part of Cleveland’s consent decree with the Justice Department.
The mayor’s chief of staff, Ken Silliman, presented an overview of city’s capital budget proposal in a council committee meeting today.
Some council members said the mayor’s plans neglected other neighborhood needs. Councilman Michael Polensek said parks and recreation centers in his northeast side ward need attention.
“My parks at one time were pristine,” Polensek said. “Go look at my parks today in Ward 8. Not only are my parks disintegrating, but I have more parks with the redistricting, and I have no funds to fix them.”
There is one park on the project list for this year: W.C. Reed Playfield on the west side. Cleveland closed this park in 2012 after petroleum-based chemicals were found in the soil. The EPA has finished cleanup work on the site, according to city spokesman Daniel Williams. Cleveland aims to spend $500,000 on the park in this plan.
Silliman said the city would like to spend more on parks.
“It is Mayor Jackson’s intent next year to have more money going towards parks and rec centers, but this year we don’t have the resources,” Silliman said.
Cleveland would pay for this year’s list of projects through a bond sale, pending city council’s approval. It’s part of a larger plan announced in late 2014 to spend $100 million in capital projects across the city.
Read a list of the proposed projects below: