Cuyahoga County Council hears "Q" funding debate

(Cleveland) - It was standing room only at Cuyahoga County Council, and the debate continued over a controversial funding plan. 

At a public hearing over the proposed use of taxpayer money for improvements at Quicken Loans Arena, opponents said they want matching funding to improve Cleveland's troubled neighborhoods. 

Many of those speaking out against the plan were from the church group Greater Cleveland Congregations, and demanded that any taxpayer money spent on upgrading the "Q", be matched with dollars to improve life in the inner city.

GCC speakers called for additional funding to fight crime and to build two mental health crisis facilities on the east and west sides of Cleveland. 

They are calling for a meeting with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to request his help in establishing a community equity fund with an investment of $35 million.  

However, backers of the public funding plan claim taxpayer money spent on the "Q" will create jobs and help businesses to thrive. 

Others contend Gilbert is already doing enough to the help the city and should not be imposed upon to do more. Lawmakers may make decision on the funding proposal next month.

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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