The $ 180.9 million is part of the federal government’s American rescue plan.
TOLEDO, Ohio – Starting July 22, Toledo City Council and Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz will hold six public meetings to decide what to do with the federal government’s one hundred and eighty million dollar incentive to the Glass City. That is more than half of Toledo’s total annual budget, and Toledo people already have plenty of ideas on how that money can be used to address various problems across the city.
“Personally, I think we have to work on housing and homelessness,” said Lisa Pengrov.
“Bring more education, more professional development,” said Ron Tijerina.
“I’ve seen children die every day. Children I used to see when I coach soccer and basketball – they’re not here,” Vincent Staples said, reflecting on the need for better youth programs.
Each of them has seen struggles and sees this money as a welcome opportunity to change their communities for the better.
“We could do new things, right? We could create better programs for people struggling with housing and homelessness,” Pengrov continued.
Staples who shared the money could be used to reduce gun violence.
“Like fun nights and things for kids to have fun and interact with, rather than ‘I live on this side of town, you live on this side of town,’ so it would prevent a lot of violence,” Staples said.
Even though these people have different views on how the money should be used, they all agree that using the meeting will be valuable
“We talk a lot about coming to and participating in these meetings – because it’s our community and if we don’t do anything to our community, who is going to do it?” Said Pengrov.
Ron Tijerina believes that if something happens with this money, he recommends taking advantage of the meetings.
“People don’t know what you need if you don’t come to the table. People don’t know what you’ve been through and where you stand today if you don’t come to the table. ‘A closed mouth won’t feed,’ “said Tijerina.
The final meeting with the public will be on August thirty-first – and until then we will not have a clear picture of how the funds are being used. However, the funds must be spent by the end of 2026 – so Toledoers can expect results from this incentive in the near future.