City denies request for new furniture, approves sale of growlers

mowen@ledger-enquirer.comApril 9, 2013 

The first recycling to be done at the city's new recycling center might be in the form of furniture.

During routine purchase authorizations Tuesday at Columbus Council, City Manager Isaiah Hugley presented a request to buy $45,892 worth of furniture, fixtures and equipment for the new Sustainability Center near the Pine Grove Landfill off Schatulga Road.

Councilor Judy Thomas had a different idea. Pointing to the almost $900,000 that council recently approved for furnishing the new City Service Center, Thomas said that should create a surplus of furniture as employees move from the Government Center to furnished offices in the Macon Road building.

"There are so many things that we could spend $1 million on other than furniture," Thomas said. "I'm appalled that we are doing that and that we are not using the furniture that we already have."

Thomas conceded that the furniture isn't new. But she said considering the budget issues the city faces, it should be looking for ways to make do with what it has.

"I think that we have furniture that is useful and sufficient," Thomas said. "If money were no object, let's spend $1 million. But money is an object in this budget. We hear from the mayor all the time about our tight budget, and yet we're spending this kind of money on new furniture."

At that, Tomlinson said, "We're about to hear a lot more about the tight budget, so fasten your seat belts."

Council voted 6-2 to deny the purchase request, but with the understanding that if sufficient furniture could not be found, council will revisit the request.

In other business, council:

Approved naming the new natatorium on Macon Road the "Columbus Aquatic Center."

Passed an ordinance that would allow local brew pubs to sell 32- and 64-ounce containers of draft beer, known as "growlers," for consumption off premises.

Accepted property from Norfolk Southern Railroad along the 600 block of Sixth Avenue, land thought to have once been a slave cemetery, to create a memorial garden "I think that we have furniture that is useful and sufficient," Thomas said. "If money were no object, let's spend a million dollars. But money is an object in this budget. We hear from the mayor all the time about our tight budget, and yet we're spending this kind of money on new furniture."

At that, Tomlinson said, "We're about to hear a lot more about the tight budget, so fasten your seatbelts."

Council voted 6-2 to deny the purchase request, but with the understanding that if sufficient furniture could not be found, council will revisit the request.

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