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Akron, Ohio

Mayor Horrigan Releases 2019 Issue 4 Budget Detailing $15 Millionin New Investments in Akronís Police, Fire, and Streets

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City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary
Published: 01-08-2019

Akron, Ohio, January 7, 2019Today, Mayor Dan Horrigan released the City’s plan for spending Issue 4 funds in the coming year. The budget outlines a blueprint for more than $15 Million in increased investment in police and fire protection and roadway improvements in Akron.

On November 7, 2017, Akron voters overwhelmingly supported Issue 4, a charter amendment that levied an additional .25% income tax to support police, fire, and roadway improvements in Akron. The tax took effect on January 1, 2018, and with collections beginning in February, the City invested more than $13 million in city streets and safety improvements.

“As we enter the second year of Issue 4 collections, this budget is, once again, a reflection of promises kept,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “While my administration continues to ‘tighten the belt’ and reduce unnecessary spending wherever possible, we will proudly be increasing our investment in police, fire and roads thanks to the community’s support of Issue 4. Thanks to this funding, I am pleased to announce plans to invest an additional $15 million in the core services and infrastructure that will keep our neighborhoods safe and strong. This vital investment allows us to properly support and equip our first responders with the resources, gear and facilities they need to protect and serve us every single day.”

A few key highlights of the 2019 Issue 4 budget include:

  • An additional $4.6 million to repave deteriorating Akron streets
  • Funds toward the construction of three new fire stations (Downtown, Middlebury and Wallhaven)
  • A new fire ladder truck and approximately 48 replacement police vehicles
  • Funds for modern software and hardware needed for Akron’s safety forces
  • Support for police’s body worn camera program, new tasers and tactical safety gear
  • Machinery and equipment used in street resurfacing
  • Funds for the future replacement of the aging police station (Stubbs Justice Center)
  • Funds to maintain safe and appropriate staffing of firefighter/medics and police officers. 

The full 2019 Issue 4 budget is available here.

An example of items purchase with Issue 4 funds in 2018 is a second set of fire gear for each Akron firefighter assigned to a line position.  The 270 sets of new fire gear, purchased from Phoenix Safety Outfitters for $418,000 will be rolled out to all active fire personnel this month. Each set of gear costs approximately $1,500. (Photos available here).   

“This new protective gear was specially designed to reduce the risk of carcinogen exposure and improve firefighter movement, safety and agility during firefighting events,” Mayor Horrigan said.

The gear’s unique design includes multiple panels of material, assembled to better conform to the human body.  The gear is constructed of light, quick-drying material that will allow the gear to be cleaned and placed back in service more rapidly.  A liner will provide optimal thermal protection, and fend off moisture within the suit.  The gear is considered an “athletic” cut to provide for unrestricted movement and improved range of motion, to reduce firefighter fatigue.  

Zippered wrist enclosures and elastic bands near the ankles will help prevent carcinogen exposure.  Another important feature of the gear is the ladder/escape belt, which will provide a firefighter with the ability to escape out of a window, if hazardous conditions require an emergency exit from a burning structure.  

“While we hope this emergency escape belt feature will never be needed, we are comforted that we can now provide each firefighter with the best chance to escape what could be a life-threatening situation,” Mayor Horrigan added.

Akron Fire Chief Clarence Tucker and the Akron Fire Department are grateful to the residents of Akron for their support of Issue 4. "We know the purchase of the fire gear would not be possible without Issue 4 being passed. The morale of our department has improved even more thanks to these critical investments in firefighter safety."

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