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Survey Asks Cincinnatians To Tell Council How $290M Stimulus Should Be Spent

cincinnati city hall
Nick Swartsell
Cincinnati City Hall

Cincinnatians can let city officials know how they think federal stimulus funding should be spent in an online survey. Council Member David Mann says he wants public feedback on the city administration's plan to spend the $290 million expected from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Mann says he wants to maximize public input.

"And take our time in making sure that we use the stimulus money wisely, and predominately to address the impacts of the pandemic on our beautiful city," Mann said.

The survey asks about general priorities for spending the money, as well as ideas for specific projects.

"And also [asks] if it were possible to set aside 10 percent of the funds — which would be $29.1 million — for one transformational initiative, what might that be?"

Mann says he's already gotten many creative responses to that question.

The first public hearing about spending the funds will be at the Budget and Finance Committee meeting on Monday, April 12 at 1 p.m. A few residents signed up to speak at this Monday's meeting.

Julie Murray of Clifton Heights says the city should prioritize the marginalized communities most affected by the pandemic.

"It should not be decided by special interests and the same old people in power that usually make decisions that benefit the wealthy," Murray said.

City administration has already released its detailed plan for spending the money, which Mayor John Cranley has been heavily promoting. Council has final say over the spending, which is also subject to forthcoming guidance from the federal government. 

Mann's survey is available online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CincinnatiStimulus.

How To Participate In The Public Forum April 12

Residents can participate in the first public hearing about stimulus spending by signing up through the regular public comment process for Cincinnati City Council meetings.

The online registration form is available at https://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/council/public-speakers-registration/.

The form must be submitted by 9 a.m. Monday, April 12. The hearing is set to begin at 1 p.m.

Becca Costello grew up in Williamsburg and Batavia (in Clermont County) listening to WVXU. Before joining the WVXU newsroom, she worked in public radio & TV journalism in Bloomington, Indiana and Lincoln, Nebraska. Becca has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including from local chapters of the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists, and contributed to regional and national Murrow Award winners. Becca has a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree from Cincinnati Christian University. Becca's dog Cincy (named for the city they once again call home) is even more anxious than she is.