Cleveland to Increase Capital Spending This Year

The mayor's chief of staff briefed council on this year's capital spending proposal Monday.
The mayor's chief of staff briefed council on this year's capital spending proposal Monday. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
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The city of Cleveland is proposing to borrow about $50 million this year to fund work on roads, parks and other facilities. That’s a significant increase over last year’s capital projects budget proposal of $27.5 million.

Using money from this year’s bond issuance, Mayor Frank Jackson wants to spend almost $18 million on parks and rec centers, $24 million on roads and bridges and $9 million on city vehicles and other facility upgrades.

Among the major road projects proposed are work on MLK between Kinsman and Shaker, on Circle Drive from Mayfield to Euclid, and on Madison from West 117th to West Boulevard.

Some of the bigger-ticket projects include renovating the Ken Johnson Recreation Center on Woodland Avenue, upgrading public safety IT and resurfacing local streets.

The mayor’s chief of staff, Ken Silliman, presented the proposal at a city council committee meeting Monday.

But much of the conversation focused on a different pot of money: $25 million in bonds for economic development projects in low-income neighborhoods that council approved in 2015.

Jackson highlighted that $25 million investment in this year’s state of the city address.

At Monday’s meeting, Councilman Jeff Johnson, who is challenging Jackson in this year’s election, asked Silliman why specifics for spending that money hadn’t been announced yet.

“I can’t argue with your point about the time,” Silliman replied. “But I can tell you that one of the things that’s taking the time is making sure we leverage this with private investment.”

Silliman said more details on the plan could be coming before council later this spring or summer. 

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