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From the Desk of the Council President

Hello Joan,

Welcome our new subscribers. We are so excited that you have decided to join us! To our regular subscribers, thank you for continuing to read the Council's Legislative Spotlight.

We hope that you are enjoying the wealth of information being shared with you each week.

We share highlights from the Council's legislative agenda from the previous Monday's Committee and Council meetings. Definitions and information about commonly used terms and council-related facts are also featured.

Please stay connected and abreast of the legislative agenda of Akron City Council.

The information shared in each week's Legislative Spotlight will continue to educate, empower, and liberate you to become increasingly engaged with your City Council in making Akron a better place for all its residents.


                                                             Margo Sommerville 

                                 Council President

                                                   Ward 3 Council Member

Legislative Highlights From Monday, November 13, 2023

The Ordinances regarding the establishment of the City of Akron Form-Based Zoning Code and Rezoning the Merriman Valley (Ordinance 336-2023 through Ordinance No. 344-2023) were passed unanimously on the Consent Agenda. This public hearing was held on October 23, 2023.

Ordinance No. 349-2023 authorizing the Mayor, or his designee, to apply for, and if awarded, accept and expend the FY 2023-2024 Quick Response Team (QRT) grant funding from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Law Enforcement Diversion Program; and declaring an emergency. Vote: Ayes: 13, Nays: 0. This grant will continue funding for the Drug Abuse Response Teams and the Quick Response Teams, which are made up of law enforcement officers partnering with drug treatment providers and others who assist overdose survivors in recovery. These teams work to reduce overdose-related deaths, reduce repeated overdoses per victim, and increase the support network for survivors and their families.



You can see all the legislation discussed during the meeting at:

City of Akron Modernizing and Restructuring Water Rates in 2024

Why change is needed:

The City of Akron has a resilient water distribution system, but it is aging and in need of investment. Much of the infrastructure is over 100 years old. We’ve seen the evidence of its age by the number of repairs needed: 9,746 water infrastructure repairs in the last 5 years alone. When cities don’t properly and proactively invest in their drinking water infrastructure, catastrophes can occur. We’ve seen it happen in Flint, Michigan and more recently in Jackson, Mississippi. We have consent decrees across the country including here in Akron for sewer work to protect our waterways, but we don’t have those same court order demands for drinking water infrastructure which means it is up to the municipalities to responsibly oversee their drinking water operations. 

What does this mean for Akron residents:

  • For most Akron residents, this means the overall utility bill will increase $10-$12 per month.
  • That increase will be from the $9 infrastructure fee and the rate increase based on average use.
  • 50% of residential customers use 3HCF or less per month. 95% use 10HCF or less.
  • For example, a family of 4 using 6 HCF of water per month would see a total increase of $10.98 on their overall bill.
  • $0.33 rate increase x 6HCF = $1.98
  • $1.98 + $9 infrastructure fee = Total increase of $10.98
  • You can determine your estimated new payment by using the city’s calculator tool here.

A presentation was given to the Public Utilities & Green Committee with this information.

You can watch the full presentation here.

Read the full press release here.

Akron’s New Water Affordability Program

In conjunction with these updates, the City is also launching a new water affordability program called the Akron Water Bill Assistance Program which will be open for applications beginning January 1, 2024. This program will allow eligible Akron residents to receive a 40% discount on the water portion of their bill (will not include sewer or curb service). That discount will cover the $4 billing charge, the $9 infrastructure charge, and the water rate.



Akron residents are eligible for the Water Bill Assistance program if they are a recipient of the Summit County Homestead Exemption, they have received a Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) letter of participation, or they have a Percentage of Income Payment Plus (PIPP) letter of participation. This program is open to both homeowners and tenants. By opening up the program to tenants, the city estimates that 19,000 more Akron residents will be eligible for assistance. Akron water customers who are not Akron residents are not eligible for the program.


To apply:

STEP 1: Residents must first apply to HEAP or PIPP, or have a Homestead Exemption from the County.


  • If utilizing the HEAP or PIPP method of eligibility, apply through the Ohio Department of Development here.
  • If utilizing the Homestead Exemption follow Summit County’s instructions to apply.


STEP 2: Beginning on January 1, 2024, the City will open up applications to the Water Bill Assistance Program. You will be able to apply online via email or by U.S. Mail or fax.


Learn more at

Questions? Call (330) 375-2554

Check out the calendar on

Council's website for

upcoming Ward Meetings!

If you have a specific city issue that you'd like to see resolved (a pothole, water leak, tree down, missed trash collection, etc.), you can enter it in the online system or call 311.

Upcoming Open Comment Public Hearings

Up for Public Hearing November 20, 2023:

Ordinance authorizing a Conditional Use to construct an oversized detached garage with a home office at 2280 Tinkham Road.


Ordinance authorizing a Conditional Use to vary the required side yard setback to construct an addition at 2259 Cross Creek Trail.


Notices are posted on our website at least 15 days before the meeting.

Suppose the Ordinance is a Conditional Use (Zoning measure). In that case, a notice is also mailed to the owners and residents of property within, contiguous to, and directly across the street from the property involved in the Ordinance (per Charter Section 34). Notices are also published in the Akron Beacon Journal.

You do not need to fill out any forms to participate. You're able to attend in person in Council Chambers or remotely via videoconference.

Those wishing to attend remotely need to notify the Clerk of Council as outlined in the meeting notice in order to receive the information to join remotely.

Public Comment Period

Those that wish to participate in the public comment period of a regular Council meeting need to submit a public comment form.

The sign-up form is available here.

For those that do not have a mobile device/computer to utilize, or need additional assistance, Council staff will be available in person before the meeting.

Signing up is a requirement of Council Rules, similar to other bodies. The only change from our previous sign-up procedure is that we made the process digital!

Rule 5.2

Speaking by Council Members

When Council members wish to speak they shall address themselves to the Presiding Officer and shall not speak until recognized by the chair. Members shall speak standing, if able, from their own desks and for no longer than five minutes at one time without permission from the Presiding Officer. With the exception of public hearings, no member shall speak more than twice, for a total time not to exceed 10 minutes, on the same motion/question/legislation. Unless otherwise required by these Rules, the speaker previously acknowledged by the Presiding Officer and with the floor shall not be interrupted except by the Presiding Officer, who may confine the member to the motion/question/legislation under discussion. 

You can view the Rules of Procedure for Akron City Council here.

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 Akron City Council

Margo Sommerville, President

166 S. High Street, 3rd Floor

Akron, OH 44308

(330) 375 - 2256

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