City tries to stop Cole Apartments climbers

The city of Columbus will pay almost $6,000 to keep people from climbing on top of the downtown Cole apartments from the city-owned parking garage inside the building on Second Street.

Heather Pope, redevelopment director for the city, said that the apartment owners have complained about people going to the highest level of the parking garage at night and climbing on top of the apartments, where they leave trash and other debris.

To prevent people from gaining access, the city is going to install a set of gates that will block off the highest level of the garage at night. Similar gates will be installed in the city-owned parking garage at Jackson and Fourth streets.

The gates would also aid in snow removal costs by allowing the city to close off the upper levels of the garage. The gates at each garage will cost $5,885 but the construction company, Ace Welding, offered a $1,000 discount if the city installed gates at both locations.

City officials also discussed putting up fencing to keep people off of the apartments, but that would have cost at least $50,000, Pope said. There were two bidders for the gate project, with Made Right Fence offering to build the gates for about $11,000 each, Pope said.

Pope said the money would come from revenues from the parking garages, rather than tax dollars. The Columbus Redevelopment Commission approved the purchase at a special meeting Monday afternoon.