DNR Money Stock

Harrisonburg City Council will meet this afternoon for its second work session dedicated to deciding how to allocate $23.8 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

City staff have assembled three draft roadmaps for the spending, according to city documents.

All three of the drafts include $1.3 million for the construction of a homeless shelter, $1.2 million in premium pay for essential city workers, $1.5 million for replacement of a kids castle at Purcell Park, $1.375 million for a splash pad at Ralph Sampson Park and $100,000 for an ARPA grants program manager position, according to city documents about the city’s first batch of $11.9 million received from ARPA in May.

Some differences between the plans for the first batch of funding include $4.9 million for construction of a new Fire Station 5, $369,500 for improvements to the Westover Skate Park, and a sliding scale of $42,047, $1.17 million or $3.3 million for development of the Smithland Athletic Complex, according to city documents.

The plan that calls for $1.17 million of the first batch of ARPA funds for Smithland would also be matched by $1.68 million in ARPA funds from the second batch, while the $42,047 for the complex would be matched by $1.3 million in another draft plan, according to city documents.

The city is slated to receive its next allotment of ARPA funds in May, according to city documents.

Not included with a dollar amount in the draft plans but brought up by City Council in the last work session are improvements to the Northeast neighborhood, broadband, child care, community violence intervention, housing, and the Harrisonburg Rescue Squad, according to city documents.

Also not included in the draft plans but prioritized by city staff for ARPA funding are $400,000 for an upgrade of the uninterruptible power supply for the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Emergency Communications Center, $500,000 for fencing at Harrison Plaza behind the Public Safety Building downtown, $450,000 for sidewalk improvements between Campbell and Bruce streets along South Main Street, $1 million for COVID-19 business recovery grants and $350,000 for COVID-19 nonprofit recovery grants, and $4.3 million for various water and sewer projects.

The water and sewer projects could be paid for through the bipartisan Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, according to city documents. The federal infrastructure bill will provide $1 trillion for various infrastructure projects across the country and was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Nov. 15, according to congressional records.

Contact Ian Munro at 574-6278 or imunro@dnronline.com. Follow Ian on Twitter @iamIanMunro

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