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Government & Politics

Akron Asks for Ideas on How to Spend COVID-19 Stimulus Money

graphic of proposed city projects
City of Akron
The city of Akron is proposing six areas of investment for its share of the federal coronavirus relief funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. Informational meetings are underway for the public to offer suggestions for how the city could best use the money.

Akron kicked off its community engagement efforts Thursday with an informational session on how the city is planning to use funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The city is partnering with consulting firm Guidehouse to ensure it follows all guidelines for the $145 million in federal funds. Community members met the Guidehouse team as well as submitted questions about the process.

The city wants to focus the money on six areas of investment. Akron Finance Department Deputy Director Shelley Goodrich says violence prevention is up first.

“We are planning on launching the violence prevention grant programs and the form that will be accompanying it for people who are interested in doing violence prevention programming. That will be being launched here in the very, very near future,” Goodrich 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. The city is seeking community input on how to best use the funding.

Goodrich: taking community input on how to spend ARPA funds

“This is going to be a long process as the city of Akron has years to spend these ARPA dollars so the public input form is going to be open indefinitely," Goodrich said. "So, we will be pulling down the ideas frequently and evaluating them and contacting people for more information.”

The city is having another informational session Thursday at 6 p.m.