(From Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s State of the City address on March 8, 2012)
Neighborhoods of Choice
Early in my administration I re-instated the City’s 5 Year Capital Plan to guide the City’s investments in our neighborhoods. Since 2008, the City has spent $161 million through general obligation bonds on streetscapes, park improvements and other capital improvements. This year, we plan to spend $38 million on various projects, including Fleet Avenue which will become a multi-purpose right-of-way that serves pedestrians, transit riders, bicyclists and motorists.
We also know that because of years of deferred maintenance, there is a need to invest in City facilities. I will be working with our Finance Director to determine how we can create an additional bond issue, backed by a portion of our annual casino revenue, to finance up to $50 million to repair City facilities in our neighborhoods.
Neighborhood investment supports retail, the arts, entertainment and small local businesses. Here are some examples.
• Last fall, we broke ground for The Shops at Garrett Square in Glenville, which will bring a Save-A-Lot grocery store, a Forman Mills store and nearly 100 jobs.
• On the near west side, infrastructure and streetscape improvements have supported the Gordon Square Arts District, leading to dozens of new small businesses and hundreds of jobs.
• The streetscape improvements and new electrical infrastructure in Kamm’s Corners resulted in seven new retail establishments; a thriving farmers’ market; and, a $77 million dollar investment by the ClevelandClinic at Fairview Hospital.
Every dollar we invest in our neighborhood is an investment in our future. But we must make certain that we invest in the people who live in our neighborhoods so that a high standard of living is the norm for everyone in Cleveland.
Our Community Relations Board, the Cleveland Division of Police, the Peacemakers Alliance and other partners are investing in young people and helping youth have a positive future.
We are working in partnership with U.S. District Attorney Steven Dettelbach and various law enforcement agencies to reduce gun violence in Clevelandneighborhoods by targeting selected neighborhoods and repeat violent offenders.
Safety is not just about fighting crime. Fire safety and emergency medicalservice are essential to quality of life. In 2011, we lost three lives to fires. While any loss of life is a tragedy, three deaths are the fewest number of fire fatalities the city has experienced since we began keeping records. Last year, EMS staff provided blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose testing for more than 17,000 citizens and provided CPR and AED training to another 4,700 people.