Friday, June 07, 2002

City Council approves $268,000 in new spending

By Gregory Korte,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati City Council approved $268,020 in new spending this week, allocating money to housing rehabilitation, an Over-the-Rhine nightclub, and a Jazz and Heritage Festival.

        The spending had little in common except for the opposition of Councilman Pat DeWine, who said City Council needs to “restrain its spending appetite” if it's going to tackle a projected budget deficit of $27 million.

        Among the items approved Wednesday:

        • Council voted 7-1 to approve a proposal from Mayor Charlie Luken to spend $25,000 to help a new Jazz and Heritage Festival organized by his former opponent, Courtis Fuller.

        The event, from July 28 to Aug. 4, would attempt to replace the canceled Coors Jazz Festival — albeit on a smaller scale — at venues throughout the city.

        • Council voted 6-2 to provide a $150,000 grant to help restore the Empire Theatre at 1521 Vine St.

        LaShawn R. Pettus-Brown, a former Taft High basketball star who plays in the Japan Basketball League, wants to turn the 88-year-old theater into a venue showcasing comedy, music and karaoke.

        • Council voted 5-3 to spend $93,020 on the renovation of two houses — one in Westwood and the other in Madisonville.

        The renovations had already been subsidized by the city, but the redeveloper ran into difficulties with the state's new lead paint requirements.

        Mr. Luken said he hadn't looked at the housing expenditure, and left open the possibility of a veto.


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