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Columbus Officials Begin Push for Bond Issue Approval

COLUMBUS (Ken Hines) -- Officials are calling on voters to pass a bond issue in order to fund improvements to the city's infrastructure.

Columbus leaders gathered at Dodge Park on Thursday to kick off the city's campaign for approval of an $842 million municipal bond package.

If passed the money from four bond issues would be used to make several improvements, including updates to police cruisers, fire stations, streets, bridges, and the city's sewer and water systems.

The bonds would be sold through 2018.

Columbus voters have approved 82 out of 88 bond issues on past ballots, and city officials expect more of the same this time around.

"With the voters' permission, I can borrow money for things at a lower interest rate," Columbus Auditor Hugh Dorian said. "Voters have been responsive for the past 50 years this has been going on. A tax has never been imposed to pay for these bonds."

Officials gathered at Thursday's event attributed Columbus's Triple-A credit rating -- unique among U.S. city's of its size -- to the practice of setting aside one-fourth of collected tax dollars for infrastructure improvements.

Voting on the bond issue runs from October 1 through November 5.
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