The City of Lynn has identified 10 areas in which it proposes to spend more than $35 million in this first phase of funding obtained from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
The projects that would be funded will be posted live on Monday, June 20, 2022 on the City’s ARPA website – lynnarpa.com – and include parks, roads, housing, early childhood programs and public safety, among others. Parks would be the biggest beneficiary, with $18.2 million in improvements planned.
In total, the City will receive approximately $75 million in ARPA funds over the course of the next two years. All of the funding must be committed by Dec. 31, 2024 and fully expended by Dec. 31, 2026.
To date, the City has dedicated $13.5 million to improving the air quality in municipal buildings by replacing and upgrading HVAC systems; $500,000 was used to purchase rapid COVID antigen test kits; and $3 million was allocated to the Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC) for small business relief grants.
With almost $52 million left to spend, whatever is left after this round of projects – approximately $23 million – will be used in subsequent allocations starting this fall.
Residents are invited to complete a survey on the website in order to weigh in on the proposed projects. This follows extensive outreach efforts that went into compiling the list, including canvassing neighborhoods, communication through press releases, email blasts and social media, virtual meetings with community groups, and in-person community meetings in each Ward.
In February, a community survey was developed and distributed to help the City develop a transparent, strategic, and equitable plan for allocating the ARPA funding. The survey was designed for the purpose of understanding the impact of the pandemic on residents and to gather a sense of stakeholders’ priorities for COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. In May, the public was invited to attend several workshops to help submit their project suggestions and proposals.
The survey at lynnarpa.com will remain open through June 30, 2022. There will be a community meeting to discuss the proposal and get more survey responses on June 28, 2022 at 6:00PM in the Lynn Auditorium and the City Council is scheduled to vote on the expenditures July 12, 2022.
In addition to parks, other areas of significant investment would be improvements to water systems, roads and sidewalks ($5.4 million), creation of affordable housing and a study to prepare the City’s inclusionary zoning proposal ($4.96 million), and capital improvements and expansion of a pre-school education center at Lynn Economic Opportunity ($3 million).
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