Cuyahoga County Council members propose spending $13.7 million in COVID stimulus funds for parks, beautification, and more.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cuyahoga County Council members are set to propose spending $13.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars on parks, beautification projects and more in their districts of origin.

Council members Scott Tuma, Michael Gallagher and Sunny Simon are expected to present their 20 proposals as part of the controversial $66 million fund split evenly among the 11 council members at a meeting on Tuesday. The spending model is controversial because some critics equate discretionary accounts with “slush funds” that could lead to political patronage and give board members too much influence over how money is spent.

The proposals, if approved, maximize the $6 million in ARPA funding for Tuma and Gallagher districts. Simon’s proposed spending is $1.8 million, according to county documents.

Funding flows largely through towns within council member districts, which receive their own share of ARPA funds.

The projects are expected to be presented to the board at Tuesday’s meeting, where they will then be referred to the committees. The Board expressed no intention to vote on these plans at Tuesday’s meeting.

The largest proposed expenditure is a $4 million clubhouse for the Ridgewood Golf Course in Parma, followed by $3.5 million for Strongsville to improve its downtown area and make it more accessible to foot, according to county records.

Proposed expenditures include:

  • $854,355 for Middleburg Heights to improve the Southland District streetscape
  • $4 million for a new clubhouse at Ridgewood Golf Course
  • $1,145,645 for a stormwater management project in Parma Heights
  • $590,000 to Berea to upgrade Lake Coe Park and Parknoll Park
  • $3.5 million for Strongsville to improve downtown and increase walkability
  • $1 million for North Royalton to improve Memorial Park
  • $108,000 for Olmsted Falls to rehabilitate David Fortier River Park and East River Park Multi-Use Trail
  • $135,000 for Olmsted Falls to purchase playground equipment at East River Road Park
  • $76,500 to Olmsted Falls to purchase equipment for the Village Green Park playground
  • $480,000 to Olmsted Falls for the Olmsted Township Nature Trail and Dog Park
  • $130,000 to Highland Heights to restore six city-owned baseball diamonds
  • $20,000 to Highland Heights to improve the town’s community center
  • $250,000 to Highland Heights to replace its emergency generator
  • $50,000 for Highland Heights to purchase technology upgrades to the municipal building
  • $100,000 to add trails and connectivity points to Highland Heights Community Park
  • $700,000 to buy a new fire truck for Lyndhurst
  • $40,000 for Richmond Heights to create a strategic parks and recreation plan
  • $150,000 for Richmond Heights to replace the pedestrian bridge north of the Richmond Heights Fire Hall
  • $100,000 to Richmond Heights to replace the farm porch at Greenwood Farm Community Park
  • $300,000 for South Euclid’s creation of an adult park and senior recreation area at Victory Park.

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