By Lucas Daprile, cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Members of Cuyahoga County Council gave early approval, through several committees Monday, to spend part of the $240 million in COVID-19 stimulus money allocated to the county through the American Rescue Plan Act.
The county’s community development committee, which is chaired by Cheryl Stephens, unanimously voted to approve spending $2.5 million to stabilize the Cuyahoga River hillside known as Irishtown Bend and $19.4 million to provide affordable broadband to tens of thousands of county residents.
During the public comment session, Greater Cleveland Partnership President/CEO Baiju Shah told committee members he supports approving the contract with PCs for People to fix what he called a “crisis” of unequal internet access.
Later, the Economic Development & Planning Committee approved a $9 million, ARPA-funded program aimed at educating and preparing the area’s workforce. All votes were in favor, save for Committee Chair Jack Schron, who abstained because he is the vice chairman of MAGNET, which would receive funds under the proposal.
Since all of Monday’s votes were in committee, nothing is final. The full county council will still have to vote on these proposals.
The county’s Economic Development & Planning Committee approved $9 million in a three-year ARPA-funded project that aims to attract businesses and train the county’s workforce.
The $9 million grant would be awarded to Fund for Our Economic Future of Northeast Ohio, which would function as the fiscal agent of private-public partnership Cuyahoga County Workforce Funders Group.