OTR projects
3:51 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Cincinnati Council to vote on funding for OTR projects

Cincinnati Council will vote Wednesday on more than $13 million of funding assistance for two economic development projects in Over The Rhine. 

The Budget and Finance Committee approved the items Tuesday.

3CDC is seeking help for the continuing work on Mercer Commons and Gateway V.  Both developments include housing and retail space.

Council Member Chris Seelbach cast a no vote on a portion of the funding because of the process.

“So I don’t want to vote no because I absolutely support everything 3CDC is doing and think they should get this funding,” Seelbach said.  “But I’m not going to vote on something that has changed since it was last presented and other people were informed and myself and other members of Council were not.”

Part of his concern involves plans by city administrators to use money from a newly created fund that's designed for projects in all the city neighborhoods. 

Some residents have complained Downtown and Over The Rhine get all the attention while other areas wait for money. 

Council Member Wendell Young said he understands Seelbach's concern.

“That we not hold what is obviously a good project captive because we don’t particularly care for the process or lack of process that is involved with getting these projects before us,” Young said.  “I think we need to have a little flexibility too and I believe we have the ability to see that what it before us is good for the city and that it deserves our support.”

Council did hold an item that would allow the city to apply for a Housing and Urban Development loan to help fund the Homeless to Home program. 

It's designed to re-do shelters in the city including moving the City Gospel Mission facility to Queensgate and relocating the Drop Inn Center to a yet undetermined location. 

A Council committee will consider the loan request next week.