December 20, 2022
County Councilman Dale Miller led a formal application and scoring process to select twelve American Recue Plan Act (ARPA) recipients to be funded with money informally allocated to primarily benefit Cuyahoga County Council District 2. A total of $6 million was allocated to each district. Councilman Miller conducted two rounds of application, review, and scoring, after which each recommended application was reviewed by the full County Council. "I particularly encouraged proposals that would have a transformational community impact, would otherwise be unlikely to be funded in the near future, and which would enhance the environment and respond positively to climate change," Councilman Miller stated.
The following is a brief description of the projects that were approved:
City of Lakewood ($1,500,000): This grant helps fund a $12.375 million project that will create a new refuse and recycling center and a new animal shelter. The project is expected to be completed in two phases by the end of 2025. By relocating facilities that are currently in the way, the project will also create necessary space to complete a major storm water retention project. "The City of Lakewood's proposal helps our environment in multiple ways by improving recycling services and making the storm water retention project possible," Councilman Miller stated. "The project also enables local, humane animal care for Lakewood residents through construction of the new and improved animal shelter," he added.
City of Brook Park ($1,500,000): This grant helps fund a two-phase project at the main Brook Park central campus that will demolish the vacant Brook Park Memorial Elementary School and replace it with a retention basin, additional tree planting, and other landscaping. The project will enhance public safety, reduce basement flooding, and provide more sustainable storm water management.
West Park Kamm's Neighborhood Development ($750,000): This grant will help fund construction of a trail near Old Lorain Road to connect the Kamm's Corners neighborhood with the MetroParks trails that can be accessed near the entrance to the Little Met Golf Course. The City of Cleveland will match the $750,000 and some additional funding will be required to be raised. The MetroParks will maintain the trail once it is completed. The project will enhance recreational and exercise opportunities for walking and bike travel for West Park residents. "This project helps create the same kind of recreational amenities in a Cleveland neighborhood that are more commonly seen in more affluent suburbs," Councilman Miller stated.
Beck Center for the Arts ($500,000): This project funds HVAC, roof, and foundation improvements as part of the Beck Center's ongoing capital campaign, which as a total size of about $6.7 million. Work related to this grant is expected to be completed by the middle of next year. Councilman Miller praised the Beck Center is the premier arts and culture institution on the west side of Cuyahoga County for both performance and arts-related education. He stated that this grant will help the Beck Center continue and expand its 90-year record of excellent community service.
Jefferson-Puritas West Park CDC ($350,000}: This grant funds renovation of a 2,100 square foot building at 3847 West 140th St. to create the Lyric Avenue Community Center to provide after-school programs for youth and workforce development programs for adults. Note that this organization has been called the Bellaire-Puritas Development Corporation since its inception in the early 1980's but recently changed its name. “The Lyric Community Center is ideally located, across the street from John Marshall High School and near several other schools, and will be very cost effective for the County because the JPWP CDC has the staff capacity to run the programs once the building renovation is completed. They will provide very important services that will enhance youth and adult development and reduce opiate addiction,” Councilman Miller stated.
Ohio Aerospace Institute/Biomimicry Foundation ($250,300): This grant funds the first year of a cutting edge project to assist businesses, particularly in the Aerozone area near NASA-Glenn Research Center and Cleveland Hopkins Airport, to learn from successful technical solutions found in nature and apply them to real-world problems to enhance efficiency and reduce carbon footprint. "I try always to be an innovator in government and to focus on the most critical problems facing our community. This project reflects both of these aspirations," Councilman Miller stated.
Baldwin Wallace College ($225,000): This grant funds the first year of another cutting edge project that would create a traffic control information system for drones to identify obstructions and hazards. It is believed that development of this system will accelerate drone business activity in Greater Cleveland. The project is being implemented in cooperation with a developer who has successfully implemented a similar system in Virginia. "I take a portfolio approach to economic development. We do well to have as many different sources of economic expansion as possible. This project adds a new dimension to our economy," Councilman Miller stated.
Hitchcock Center ($174,700): This grant helps fund a project of countywide significance to combine with other sources to create a total county contribution of $2,674,700 toward construction of new facilities for the Hitchcock Center for Women, a unique organization in Cleveland that provides residential addiction services for women with families. The total project cost is about $16 million.
Rose Centers ($100,000): This grant supports another project of countywide significance, to assist the Rose Centers in purchasing an additional vehicle for delivery of meals to senior citizens. Through Director Mike Foley at our Department of Sustainability, we are working with the Rose Centers to facilitate purchase of an electric vehicle, if at all possible.
City of Lakewood ($97,170): This grant provides funding for an alternative fuels circulator study. The aim of the project is to develop a workable proposal to restore circulator bus service to the City of Cleveland, and do so using fuel-efficient, climate-friendly vehicles. The project is being done in collaboration with the Regional Transit Authority. The circulator bus service was popular in Lakewood because it is a dense community with so many desired products and services located within a short distance; however, the circulator service was lost in a round of RTA cutbacks.
West Shore Technical Team ($44,821): The West Shore Technical Team operates in Lakewood and other West Shore communities to provide large fire response, hazardous materials response, and water rescue. The grant provides funded for much needed safety equipment and personal protective equipment. The total grant is $90,000, funded equally from District 1 and District 2 ARPA funds.
Journey Center ($43,015): The Journey Center is the leading provider of domestic violence services in Cuyahoga County. This grant funds urgently needed capital repairs to their main building.
The process of allocating these funds spanned more than six months, starting with the request-for-proposal announcement for the first round, which was issued on May 11, 2022, and continuing until the Council meeting held on December 6, 2022. Approximately $465,000 in ARPA funds related to District 2 remain to be allocated.