American Rescue Plan Funds Are Driving Innovation in Ohio’s Largest Cities
October 31, 2023
Columbus, OH – A new report from the Ohio Mayors Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of 30 of Ohio’s largest cities and suburbs, provides data on how Ohio cities are using American Rescue Plan fiscal recovery funds two years out from the start of the pandemic-era federal law’s historic investments in communities and local governments. Among other things, the report highlights how cities are investing federal dollars to catalyze and advance innovative local projects and initiatives. You can read the report, How American Rescue Plan Funds Are Driving Local Innovation in Ohio Cities, at OMA’s website.
“The federal resources that have been provided to our cities through the American Rescue Plan have given local communities the ability to make extraordinary investments in public safety,” said Ohio Mayors Alliance Executive Director Keary McCarthy. “They have also provided funds for our cities to make innovative investments that will support the long-term success of our communities.”
The majority of obligations have gone to public safety, with investments in hiring and retaining police officers, firefighters, and other first responders, as well as equipment upgrades and violence reduction strategies. This total does not include the millions of fiscal recovery funds the State of Ohio has allocated to local governments to reduce and prevent violent crime.
Projects highlighted in the report qualify as innovative because they make use of one-time federal funds to spur long-needed and hoped-for improvements that creatively combine local government and private investments, fund interesting ideas to address problems in new ways, or create new programs that will create opportunity and drive development and recovery in cities for years to come.
Among the projects highlighted in the report are:
- Elyria and Lorain’s collaboration to create Save Our Streets, a city/community partnership to create a group violence intervention program.
- The purchase of two motels by the City of Springfield to create housing for homeless families.
- The plan for a new YMCA recreation center in Toledo, funded by a combination of American Rescue Plan dollars and private investment in the core of the central city.
- Columbus’ allocation of funds to ensure that all city high school graduates can go to community college for free, and will compete for the region’s many current and incoming technology careers.
- The Site Readiness Fund in Cleveland, which leverages an investment of American Rescue Plan dollars with private investment to remove empty, blighted factories and vacant buildings from city-owned land and prepare sites for quick redevelopment.