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Council supports ‘Bits and Atoms’ center grant

6/26/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Stephanie Kist

After a presentation by Akron Global Business Accelerator CEO Anthony Margida June 23, Akron City Council voted to authorize an application for a grant to support the construction of the Bits and Atoms Innovation Center.

Margida told Council’s Economic Development and Job Creation Committee the Bits and Atoms Innovation Center, which has already been awarded $2 million through the state capital budget, would serve entrepreneurs in technology fields.

“It’s an extension of what we’ve done well for the last 30 years,” he said. “We’re entering into a new age for entrepreneurs.”

The ordinance approved by Council authorizes application for a one-time capital improvement grant from the Economic Development Administration.

“It will be a catalyst for new companies and job creation,” said committee Chairwoman Margo Sommerville (D-Ward 3) as she presented the ordinance to the full Council at the regular meeting.

Also at the meeting, Council:

  • agreed to Councilman Russel Neal Jr.’s (D-Ward 4) request to have a caucus meeting Aug. 4, the first Monday of Council’s summer break, to discuss several issues;
  • approved an ordinance authorizing agreement for funding from the state Local Transportation Improvement Program and the State Capital Improvement Program for $42.8 million for several capital improvement projects;
  • approved a resolution appointing Council President Garry Moneypenny (D-Ward 10) and Councilwoman Marilyn Keith (D-Ward 8) to the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board;
  • placed on next week’s consent agenda an ordinance permitting a replacement guaranty agreement among the city, the Akron Urban League and Summit County to allow for refinancing a 2007 loan for the Urban League’s community service center; and
  • also placed on the consent agenda an ordinance authorizing Mayor Don Plusquellic and Finance Director Diane Miller-Dawson to negotiate and enter into agreements to secure the East Akron Community House building for the purposes of continuing programs and services for the residents of East Akron and to make payments in connection with any agreements reached. During the public comment period, several people voiced passionate support for the troubled agency and its building.

The next Akron City Council meeting will take place June 30 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the third floor of the Akron Municipal Building, 166 S. High St. in Downtown Akron. Committee meetings are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. that afternoon, also in Council Chambers.

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