AKRON, Ohio — Akron City Council voted Monday to approve Mayor Dan Horrigan’s plan for capital investment and community development, which totals $337 million, up from $330 million last year.
The capital budget, formally known as the 2019 Capital Investment and Community Development program, provides a plan for investments in Akron’s streets, sidewalks, parks, public facilities, police and fire services, economic development, housing and water and sewer infrastructure over the next year, the city said in a press release.
“The 2019 capital budget reflects $337 million in new investment in our infrastructure, neighborhoods, and public facilities that will enhance safety, transportation, housing, and quality of life and set the stage for job creation and population growth,” Horrigan said in a statement. “By efficiently leveraging state and federal funds, we will be able to make a significant impact in 2019, including our catalytic project to completely renovate Main Street downtown.”
The budget includes $187 million in state funding, $43 million in federal funding and $10 million in regional and private monies, the city said.
Local funds of $97 million include $15.4 million generated from Issue 4, the .25% income tax increase passed in 2017. Issue 4 funds will be exclusively invested in police, fire and roadway improvements, the city said.
The largest expenditure is $60 million in transportation projects, including $13.5 million for the TIGER grant-funded Main Street Corridor Project, $7.6 million for the Evans Avenue Bridge and $7 million to address deteriorated streets under the local resurfacing program.
The 2019 capital budget also includes:
· Economic development projects: $11.4 million to reconstruct Romig Road and $3.1 million for the new Firestone Business Park
· Public safety: $5 million for the completion of Fire Station #2 and Fire Station #4, $4.3 million in new vehicles for police, fire and public works, including $1.2 million for a new 100-foot fire ladder truck
· Federally-mandated environmental enhancements including $91 million for combined sewer upgrades and $43 million in improvements to the Water Reclamation Facility
· $250,000 for additional snow and ice removal equipment
· $900,000 for housing and commercial building demolitions
· $550,000 to establish a fund for a new Akron police station to replace Stubbs Justice Center
· $300,000 to continue engagement of Akron residents through the Akron Parks Challenge competitive grant program. Grant awards from 2018 went to Cadillac Triangle, Chestnut Ridge and Reservoir Park
· $250,000 of community development funds to construct two water splash pads in North and South Akron neighborhoods
· $900,000 in support of Great Streets Akron, including capital improvements and façade grants to eligible businesses
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