DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– Dayton City officials held their first public meeting of many on Tuesday to ask residents how they want to spend the funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. Dayton City Staff say they’ve already received half of the $138-million but there are specific rules they have to follow to spend these funds. They say communities in West Dayton were hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, but before they spend a single dime, they’re asking for your opinion.
“We need to make sure every dollar goes to something positive and no more funding accidentally gets into the hands of someone bringing in more drugs or weapons,” said Dayton Resident Andrea Attaway-Young. “We certainly don’t need any more of that.”
Dayton Resident for more than 40 years Andrea Attaway-Young says she wants to see these funds used towards improving homelessness, mental health needs, neighborhood improvements and focus groups. And, wants to see the city use a checks-and-balance system to ensure funds are used correctly.
“Dayton is historically known for great feets, we’ve had the Wright Brothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar, we have a lot of greatness here so we just need to find a way to continue this,” said Attaway-Young.
City officials say they’re looking at one-time investments because these funds will only cover costs incurred between march 2021 and december of 2024. They will receive the second half of the $138-million next year.
They’re considering things like supporting public health expenditures, addressing negative economic impacts caused by public health emergencies, serving hardest hit communities and families, replacing lost public sector revenue and water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.
Lifelong Resident Lorana Kelly has seen the city grow and suffer for almost 80 years and she believes this money would be best used to help improve the quality of life.
“We used to have a dollar program where people could buy a house for a dollar and fix it up, we need to go back to that program to fix up these houses,” said Kelly. “There’s just too many empty houses and that means crime, fire and everything else. That’s why I came, I want the city to work on these abandoned houses.
The city says they won’t have the full details on how they can spend the money until late July, but there are 6 more public meetings scheduled.
- Friday, July 9 at 11:30 a.m., Business Solutions Center, 1435 Cincinnati St.
- Wednesday July 14 at 5 p.m., Lohrey Recreation Center, 2366 Glenarm Ave.
- Thursday, July 15 at 5:30 p.m., Wesley Community Center, 3730 Delphos Ave.
- Wednesday, July 21 at 10:30 a.m., Lohrey Recreation Center, 2366 Glenarm Ave.
- Monday, July 26 at 3 p.m., Connor Child Health Pavilion, 1010 Valley Street.
- Tuesday, July 27 at 12:30 p.m., Dayton Metro Library, Downtown, 215 E. Third St.
For possible additional meeting dates, online survey and more information, visit here.