On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This $1.9 trillion measure provides direct financial relief to Americans, assistance to businesses, and aid to states, counties, and municipalities to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In total, the City of Lynn will receive approximately $75 million in ARPA funds over the course of the next two years. All of the funding must be committed by December 31, 2024 and fully expended by December 31, 2026. To date, the City of Lynn has dedicated $13.5 million to improving the air quality in its municipal-owned buildings by replacing and upgrading the HVAC systems throughout public buildings in the community. $500,000 has been directed to purchase rapid COVID antigen test kits and $3 million was allocated to the Economic Development and Industrial Corporation of Lynn (EDIC) for small business relief grants. The remaining $58 million will be dedicated toward initiatives and priorities which will be developed through robust community engagement. In order to receive input from as many of the City’s diverse population as possible, $800,000 was allocated for city-wide translators.
Since the onset of the community engagement process for ARPA spending and project selection, the City has been working to gather input through traditional grassroots means and a multi-faceted online approach. Outreach efforts included connecting with community stakeholders, canvassing neighborhoods, distributing press releases, email blasts, social media posts, and setting up in-person and virtual community meetings in each Ward.
In early February, a community survey was developed and distributed to help the City of Lynn develop a transparent, strategic, and equitable plan for federal ARPA funding. The survey was designed for the purpose of understanding the impact of the pandemic on city residents and to gather a sense of community stakeholders’ priorities for COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. During the month of May, the public was invited to attend several workshops for an opportunity to collaborate with staff to help submit their project suggestions and proposals.
The survey was available online from February 8, 2022 through March 31, 2022 and reached roughly 1,653 respondents. Of the 1,653 survey participants, 1,259 prioritized infrastructure improvements with 39% survey participants citing roadway & sidewalk improvements as a top priority for ARPA funding investments.
Six, 3-hour sessions with translation services were open to the community for a chance to work with staff to propose their ideas in May.
Feedback from the City’s community outreach highlighted particular needs to address parks and green space, the cost of housing, improvements to roadways and sidewalks, and litter. The City’s recommendations are in line with those priorities, taking into account priorities from the City’s ARPA Scoring Matrix such as the implementation timeline and project sustainability (i.e., the reality that the finding is a one-time revenue source).
All of the projects included in this recommendation have been submitted by city departments, non-profits and outside agencies, and community members; and are determined to be the most viable to be recommended to the City Council for approval during the first round of project selection scheduled for mid-July.
There will be another opportunity to submit your project proposal or suggestion! Keep in mind that projects not selected in this first round may be selected in a future project selection process in the fall of 2022.
The total amount of ARPA funding requested for the July package of projects recommended by the City is approximately $35.1 million.
Launch of the phase I ARPA Project proposal and suggestions.
Presentation of the Lynn ARPA survey results to the City Council.
Presentation of the Survey Results (PDF)
Phase I project submittal workshops.
Project Submittal Workshop Announcement (PDF)
The City is reviewing community suggestions which may be integrated into other projects that will receive ARPA funding in July.
Community Suggestions for ARPA Investment
Closure of phase I project submittal requests
Launch of project selection survey.
Overview of the Project Selection | City Hall
Closure of the Project Selection Survey
Phase I presentation to the City Council and vote
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