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Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan Outlines $153 Million in Investments During 'State of the City' Address

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan
City of Akron
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan has traditionally delivered his "State of the City" address in February. But this year's address was moved to August because of the coronavirus pandemic.

During his annual “State of the City” address Monday night, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said the city will use its American Rescue Plan funds to reinvest in neighborhoods and businesses.

Horrigan used much of his speech to lay out how the city will use more than $150 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds to reinvest in the city and its businesses following the pandemic.

One area slated for a $25 million investment is housing, both for refurbishment and new construction. Horrigan said that the city’s median home price has doubled since 2016, a slow march back from the depths of the 2008 recession. But that progress has been impeded as coronavirus shut down the city.

“Summit Lake, Middlebury, North Hill, Kenmore, East Akron, parts of West Akron, and Goodyear Heights are still challenged by aging housing stock, undervalued markets, vacancy, and demolition,” he said.

Horrigan also said the city will be spending $3.5 million to refurbish Lock 3, which was built in 2003 as a temporary space but is now, in the mayor’s words, Akron’s “Central Park.”

And there will be a $30 million investment in the city’s parks and public facilities. Horrigan says that updating the city’s facilities will help curb youth violence. More than one-third of that amount will go into existing community centers that need to be updated. And the rest will go directly to youth programs.

“Youth employment, programs, training, improving recreational assets across our neighborhoods, and gun violence interventions for those most at-risk of being caught up in violence either as a perpetrator or a victim,” Horrigan said.

He added that he does not intend to defund the police but rather wants to focus more resources on community policing.

The entire address is available on Facebook.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.