These were among the other highlights Mayor Don Plusquellic shared during his State of the City address on Wednesday:
• The mayor has had recent conversations “with one of the top U.S. EPA officials” to come up with a possible solution to the ongoing combined sewer overflow issue.
“I’m very hopeful that we will make progress that will help our citizens and still keep on track keeping the effluent out of the river,” he said.
During his speech, Plusquellic harshly criticized federal Judge John Adams for rejecting previous plans and imposing what he called “a tremendous burden on the citizens of Akron.”
“It’s not fair, and it’s not right,” he said.
• The city was notified on Wednesday that it’s getting $2 million in state support for a new economic development project within the Akron Global Business Accelerator, Plusquellic announced.
The project, in partnership with Stark State, will open Bits and Atoms, a place for inventors to create and make new products, he said. Although a location hasn’t been determined, the center could be housed within the Morley Health Center building once public health services move to a new location on West Market Street.
• Plusquellic announced plans to launch “I-Value — Akron Values” to seek input from a variety of community groups about priorities.
“We’ll meet with those people first and then extend to assure everyone has an opportunity to provide input and be able to have direct influence on our choices on how we prioritize and plan for the future,” he said.
• He talked about the importance of boosting educational opportunities for residents of all ages and highlighted programs that he said are working, including Akron’s early college high school initiative.