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File #: 2634-2020    Version: 1
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 11/12/2020 In control: Economic Development Committee
On agenda: 11/16/2020 Final action: 11/19/2020
Title: To authorize the Director of Development to execute a grant agreement with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in an amount up to $125,000.00 for the purpose of providing funding for health and safety equipment and operating support for educational programming; to authorize an expenditure up to $125,000.00 from the CARES Act Fund; to authorize the payment of expenses starting March 1, 2020; and to declare an emergency. ($125,000.00)
Attachments: 1. ORD2634-2020 2020-11-11 Admin Zoo CARES Act
Explanation
This legislation authorizes the Director of the Department of Development to enter into a grant agreement with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (Zoo) in an amount up to $125,000.00 for the purpose of providing funding for health and safety equipment and operating support for educational programming.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to more than 10,000 animals representing nearly 600 species from around the world. The Zoo’s 580 acres consist of seven regions, including the newest region, Adventure Cove, which is home to a variety of diverse species, including 10 California sea lions and four harbor seals, as well as a one-of-a-kind indoor-outdoor animal habitat at the new Jack Hanna’s Animal Encounters Village. The Zoo first gained international recognition with the 1956 birth of Colo, the first gorilla born in human care, and was elevated to become one of the best zoos in the country under visionary leadership that began in 1978 with the now legendary Jack Hanna.

The mission of the Zoo is simple-to lead and inspire by connecting people and wildlife. To that end, conservation and education are pivotal to the work that they do as an organization. The Zoo’s unmatched reputation transcends that of just a local zoo because the community has invested in the Zoo and their priorities. Decades of experience in the field has taught Zoo leadership one critical thing: effective conservation starts with inspiring, empowering, and partnering with people.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 and compliance with the state’s order to shelter in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium closed on March 16, 2020, and did not reopen until June 15, 2020. This three month closure fell during a time when they would normally have some of largest attendance numbers. Because of the significant loss of attendance revenue, in addition to lost revenue from the cancellations of events and other programs, the Zoo made significant budget cuts i...

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