We are pleased to present another round of projects approved to receive funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). After a robust application process and careful consideration, we are excited to propose a total of $21.9 million for over 40 projects. This investment will address important community needs and is designed to help our residents as much as possible.
Including money that has been previously allocated, this brings the total amount of ARPA funding utilized by the City to more than $73 million.
In this round, we received more than 80 applications for funding representing almost $90 million of potential projects. All were given serious consideration and decisions were made based on the expressed need in the area in which the funds will be spent.
Increasing housing opportunities remains a priority for our administration and in this round of ARPA funding, we have earmarked $10.7 million for projects that will address those needs, highlighted by $5.5 million towards the proposals in the community housing plan from Essex County Community Organization, Neighbor to Neighbor, and Lynn United for Change, investments in the production and rehabilitation of affordable housing, and direct assistance for struggling renters.
This round of funding provides $3 million to the Lynn Community Health Center for its expansion. It also includes $1.3 million specifically for food aid, almost $1 million for workforce development, and another $1.3 million to other nonprofits for different projects. It also contains $3.9 million to the Lynn Water & Sewer Commission for street and infrastructure improvements.
Our Administration has worked throughout this process with the City Council, particularly the Council’s ARPA liaison, Councilor Brian Field. We are proud of the thorough, transparent and inclusive process that has informed our decisions on ARPA spending.
In January, the City Council approved $3 million in grants to small businesses. Over the summer, the City Council approved spending more than $35 million in ARPA funding for three dozen projects, including parks, roads, housing, early childhood programs, and public safety. The projects were approved in July after extensive community outreach; including an online survey, outreach through canvassing neighborhoods, press releases, email blasts, social media, virtual meetings with community groups, and in-person community meetings in each ward.
The City will now focus on the implementation of approved projects, with some reserved funds held for contingency. The goal from the outset has been to maximize the positive impact these funds will have in the City, while targeting urgent needs as well as long-term priorities.
We appreciate the hard work of everyone who played a role in the process by proposing projects or sharing feedback. Their efforts have helped make it a transparent, inclusive process. The City will continue to work with our partners to attract funding to support the type of initiatives that have been brought forth through the ARPA process.
Through this funding, we are able to make historic investments in housing, food security, workforce development, infrastructure and more. We are proud of the process we implemented and look forward to seeing the positive long-term impact in the lives of people in Lynn.
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