Akron police seek grant for data network
By Stephanie Kist
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Another in a flurry of grant applications was authorized by Akron City Council July 2.
The Akron Police Department will apply for a $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to establish a regional data-sharing network benefiting emergency service workers, including traditional first responders.
The grant would provide for a partnership between the city and Summit County that would allow for the ability to share information across multiple jurisdictions.
In a news release issued June 29, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic said, “This will greatly assist in serving the community every day, but it will be invaluable in the event of a man-made or natural disaster.”
There is a local match of 25 percent — or $1.5 million — that Deputy Mayor for Public Safety George Romanoski told Council’s Public Safety Committee he hopes would be shared by the county.
In related public safety news,
Akron Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 7 President
Paul Hlynsky is asking Council
for legislation to authorize an income tax increase
to be used solely for hiring and maintaining more Akron
Appearing before the Public Safety
Committee, Hlynsky was told his proposal would be taken
The union proposes raising the
city income tax by no more than one-tenth of 1 percent,
or whatever Council sees fit, to go toward raising the
current budgeted strength of the police force from 487
to 526 officers and maintaining that level. Hlynsky
estimated the increase would generate about $4.5 million
to $5 million per year.
The union also asks that Council
authorize funding for another
recruit class before September.
Earlier this year, Issue No.
17, a proposed one-third of 1 percent income tax increase
that would fund increasing the police force along with
economic development initiatives and the purchase of
safety equipment, failed in the May 8 Special Election.
“Crime has not stopped
just because Issue 17 failed,” Hlynsky said.
He added that a survey of city
residents suggests an income tax increase aimed only
at strengthening the police force would have much more
support than Issue No. 17 did.
Council President Marco Sommerville
(D-Ward 3), who was at the committee meeting, said there’s
a danger in addressing one department
at a time, though.
“If we piecemeal our approach
to running the city, I don’t know how we’ll
continue to manage this city,” Sommerville said.
“We realize as a Council
that we are short of funding in a lot of areas,”
added Public Safety Chairman Jim Shealey (D-Ward 5).
Hlynsky said he heard the same
concerns with Plusquellic during a meeting with the
mayor the previous week. Hlynsky asked the committee
to consider his ideas.
“Maybe there’s a
better proposal we can all embrace,” he said.
In other business, Council authorized
the city to act as a pass-through agent on a project
improving the bike and
pedestrian trail system at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
in West Akron.
Stan Hywet received a $131,040
federal earmark for the project, and in order for Stan
Hywet to receive the funding, the city must advertise
for bids and execute contracts. However, it is not a
city project, requires no city funding and will be overseen
by Stan Hywet.
The improved historic and new
trails will be available for Stan Hywet visitors to
Council also set public hearings
for July 16 on a request for a conditional-use permit
for a clothing store to be established at 641 W. Market
St. and also for a provision regarding the building
of open decks in the Willow
Creek cluster home development on the southwest corner
of Smith and Sand Run roads.
Currently, each request for the
building of a deck in the development requires a formal
conditional-use petition and public hearing due to the
size of the properties. Adding an amendment to the development’s
conditional-use permit would allow the homeowners to
build decks in their back yards without petitioning
The next Akron City Council meeting
will take place July 9 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers
on the third floor of the Akron Municipal Building,
166 S. High St. Committee meetings are scheduled to
begin at 2 p.m. that afternoon, also in Council