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City Preparing for ARP Funding

04/28/2021
City Preparing for ARP Funding

Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell will be convening a meeting of community leaders to get input on plans for the city to use $57 million in American Rescue Act funds by the end of 2024.

At a morning news conference in City Council Chambers, O’Connell said, “I plan to bring community leaders together early next month to review Allentown Vision 2030, the city’s Comprehensive Plan, and the community’s desires expressed in the plan and listen to new ideas that might not have been discussed. It is from those discussions that the administration will present a plan to City Council.”

DCED staff has already begun reaching out to some leaders. It is estimated that 20 or so will be brought together with some members of the city staff.

Over the course of the latter part of 2018 and throughout 2019 the city spent a great deal of time and money to develop Allentown Vision 2030. It encompasses the city’s priorities. It addresses the topics of housing, workforce development, economic opportunity, social equity, environment and conservation, community development, transportation, land use, historic preservation, open space, and a range of other areas that affect the quality of life and vibrancy of the city of Allentown.

Allentown Vision 2030 was unanimously approved by City Council in December 2019.

At present, the Federal government has released only a broad outline on funding eligibility.

(A) to respond to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality;

(B) to respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID–19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers of the

metropolitan city;

(C) for the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue of such metropolitan city, and

(D) to make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.

O’Connell said “I along with DCED Director Lightner and the U.S. Conference of Mayors are working with the Treasury Department to receive and understand regulations to provide further guidance. We look forward to hearing from the Treasury Department as more definitive rules and regulations are established for the use and distribution of the funds.”

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