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Government & Politics

Akron City Council Authorizing Use of American Rescue Plan Funds is Just the Beginning

Akron's municipal building
Akron City Hall
Akron City Council
Akron City Council's move to approve the use of federal stimulus money from the American Rescue Plan is just the starting point for deciding what projects the money will fund.

This week’s move by Akron City Council to authorize spending $145 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds is only a starting point.

Council President Margo Sommerville says the next step for council is to begin evaluating in-depth proposals regarding youth gun violence, one of six areas the city has said it wants to focus the money. Sommerville says they’re looking for community input.

Sommerville: Akron residents need to drive the conversation
Joint Announcement

“This is like a once in a lifetime chance and opportunity, right? That we’re almost receiving a federal gift, right? And we have to make sure that Akron residents’ voices are driving the conversation and helping us really decide where are the priorities," Sommerville said.

The other areas of investment include parks and public places, public utilities, access to health care and social services, housing and small business growth.

Council has scheduled two virtual public meetings Oct. 28. Somerville says the city is partnering with the consulting firm Guidehouse to ensure the process is transparent.