How should $17.2M be spent to ‘rescue’ Richmond residents and businesses?

Richmond public hearing could determine future of City Council elections
Photo by Kathy Chouteau

How would you invest $17.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to help the City of Richmond address the immediate and longterm needs of Richmond residents and businesses?

The city is encouraging community members be part of the process of deciding how the pandemic relief funds should be spent by attending two upcoming virtual community forums on Monday, June 27, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., and Monday, July 11, from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

The meeting link is here.

Last year, Congress passed the ARPA to address the impacts of COVID-19. The City of Richmond was allocated $27.7 million in relief funds. To date, $10.5 million of those have been committed. City Council voted to use $300,000 to pay for an environmental planning consultant to come up with a one-year to 18-month planning process for the creation of a local Green Blue New Deal. Another $4 million was allocated to replace lost revenue in the fiscal year 2021-22 budget; another $2 million to upgrade heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; $1 million for community beautification efforts; $600,000 to go directly to families and $400,000 for the project design and development of a Universal Basic Income pilot program; and $250,000 to “help inform the City Council’s future decisions” on how to use the remaining $17.2 million of the ARPA allocation.

ARPA funds must be obligated by Dec. 31, 2024, and spent by Dec. 31, 2026.

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