One year of ARPA: What Ohio’s mayors are saying

March 10, 2022

One year of ARPA: What Ohio’s mayors are saying

Since its passage, Ohio cities have invested ARPA funds to make transformational change for their residents

COLUMBUS, OH – Friday will mark one year since the historic passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which invested over $350 billion in direct fiscal assistance to state and local governments across the country.  These funds have provided critical support to local communities who have been responding to the health and economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Ohio, ARPA will deliver a total of over $1.5 billion to Ohio’s 30 largest cities in two allocations, one in 2021 and another coming later in 2022. These investments are already being put to work across Ohio balancing city budgets, funding critical infrastructure projects, supporting public health and the administration of vaccines, boosting food banks, providing small business relief, and bringing critical resources to communities that were adversely impacted by the pandemic.

In January, the Ohio Mayors Alliance issued a preliminary ARPA report summarizing how our communities were investing these funds in a responsible way that will provide long-term benefits to their communities. These initial investments occurred in five general categories: Budget Stabilization, Infrastructure, Business Recovery and Worker Support, Public Safety, and Housing, Social Services, and Community Development.

Please take a moment to hear what mayors from both parties are saying about the impacts of these ARPA Funds. Read the ARPA report by clicking on the image below, and – in case you missed it – scroll down and listen to our most recent podcast on this topic.

What Ohio’s Mayors Are Saying

“The City of Cleveland committed $17 million from the American Rescue Plan to the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition, bringing the total investment to over $115 million in a major funding boost to address the lead crisis in Cleveland. Lead paint was outlawed in Cleveland in 1978, it’s past time we did something about it. This transformational funding will accelerate the pace of change, make properties safe and help to ensure no more children are lead poisoned.”
– Cleveland Mayor Justin M. Bibb

“In Columbus, we have used ARPA funds to shore up basic, COVID-19 related needs of residents and businesses through rental assistance, daycare scholarships, extensive youth programming and small business grants. We are also focused on payments that will have sustainable, long-lasting impacts on making our community resilient.”
– Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther

“The timing of these funds was important as we were able to quickly invest in a major water infrastructure project that was key to finalizing a significant economic development project for the region. These infrastructure investments can be very costly for cities but are vital to the long-term success of our communities.”
– Lancaster Mayor David Scheffler

“The City of Lakewood received $47 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. More than half of those dollars will be spent on necessary improvements to our century old water/sewer infrastructure. This allows for rate reductions for every resident and business owner in our city. Additionally, we have allocated roughly $1.6 million towards homelessness prevention. We continue to explore other uses for these dollars that will make the most impact for our community.”
– Lakewood Mayor Meghan George

“The ARPA funds are already making a big impact here in Akron. We recently announced over $1.3 million in grants to 11 local organizations working to prevent violence from occurring, stop the progression of violence, and rehabilitate individuals with a history of violent behavior. I believe it is our duty and responsibility to support organizations that are offering evidence-based programming to create a safer community, and the American Rescue Plan funding gives us the opportunity to do just that.”
– Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan

“There’s still a debate in Congress even now about the merits of the American Rescue Plan and whether it was needed or not needed. But what we know here in Toledo is that because of ARPA, we are able to dedicate $10 million to Toledo’s lead line replacement program and replace nearly 3,000 residential lead lines by the end of 2024. Because of the infusion of resources, we are able to shave 25 years off the timeline for this project. The value is clear.”
– Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz

“The ARPA stimulus has been a tremendous help for our community The funds were vital to the repair and update of our aging stormwater sewer infrastructure in our older neighborhoods.”
– Grove City Mayor Richard L. “Ike” Stage

“The COVID-19 pandemic had significant impacts on cities across Ohio and the investments provided by the American Rescue Plan will be incredibly important to our economic recovery. These investments will not only help us rebuild, they will also prevent potentially catastrophic funding cuts in cities like Youngstown and others throughout Ohio.”
– Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown

“The American Rescue Plan Act has created an unparalleled opportunity to make much needed investments in our city through the Dayton Recovery Plan. Utilizing these proceeds, we plan to remove blight, improve neighborhood amenities, construct a new joint Fire-Police station, and provide aid to small and minority-owned businesses, as well as community organizations serving vulnerable populations.”
– Dayton Mayor Jeffrey J. Mims, Jr.

In February, we released an episode of our podcast Local Solutions. Statewide Impact. focused on the ARPA investments in Toledo, Lancaster, and Euclid.

Lancaster Mayor David Scheffler discusses the joint investment of Fairfield County and the City of Lancaster in area small businesses and in improving the city’s water infrastructure for future economic development.

Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer-Gail discusses her city’s ability to grow its police and fire forces with American Rescue Plan funds, at a time when many cities were contemplating cuts to help balance budgets, and investing in housing stability to support residents during an uncertain time.

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz discusses how the city engaged their residents to decide how to invest their funds. Based on the feedback, Mayor Kapszukiewicz is investing in the city’s safety forces, promoting universal pre-K, building new community centers and new affordable housing.

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The Ohio Mayors Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of mayors in Ohio’s largest cities. It has been working to strengthen the partnership between state and local leaders since its formation in 2016. For more information on the group’s policy priorities and its membership, please visit: www.OhioMayorsAlliance.org.