Cleveland is proposing the first $100 million in ARPA spending for the city in several areas
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – The first proposals for spending what remains of Cleveland’s American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, have been set by Mayor Justin Bibb’s strategy team, and the focus has been on the lodging.
Cleveland received the eighth-largest pot of federal dollars from the COVID bailout, at $512 million, spread over a two-year period.
The second batch of funds at $310 million, fell on new Mayor Bibb to distribute.
This round of proposed spending has a price tag of $102.5 million, meaning there’s still over $200 million earmarked for future projects.
Bibb created the Center for Economic Recovery to help choose areas of need in the city.
The group was instructed to follow Bibb’s advice in his “Rescue and transformation planwhich lists its priorities.
On Monday, the city released the first 15 proposals, including 13 from Bibb’s administration and two from city council.
Here is the list of projects proposed in the first round:
Housing for all
- $35 million for a Fund to Close the Housing Gap to provide grants and equity participation in projects to encourage the renovation and construction of affordable, workforce, mixed-income housing projects and at the market rate.
- $10 million for a home repair fund to create a network of new grants, deferred loans, and low-interest home repair loan funds to fill gaps in existing programs.
- $5 million for a developer acquisition and rehabilitation loan pool to create a revolving loan pool to provide low-interest capital to small entrepreneurs and primarily minority CDCs seeking to rehabilitate structures in places where private banks generally do not provide financing.
Violence Prevention and Public Safety
- $5 million for the CIT/co-responder program to expand the Crisis Response Team/co-responder pilot program, add a mental health dispatcher, and hire a senior level strategist to link mental health efforts and public safety.
- $2.75 million to expand ShotSpotter technology to cover 13 square miles (33% of city residents) disproportionately affected by gun violence.
- $2.3 million to equip CPD’s frontline vehicles with in-vehicle dash cams, including dash cam purchase, installation, cloud storage, software license accounts and the renewal of equipment for five years.
Inclusive economic recovery
- $7.5 million for a CLE Opportunity Fund, contributing to a $50 million civic loan fund designed to promote inclusive and thriving neighborhoods by supporting real estate and commercial development projects in low-income Cleveland communities.
- $5 million for a Minority Business Credit Enhancement Fund to create a revolving loan fund to provide flexible lines of credit to construction companies owned/run by people who are historically underrepresented in the construction industry construction, as well as to fund a technical assistance program.
An education for all
- $2.7 million to create a fund that will develop a pool of new early childhood educators and maintain the current workforce through hiring and retention bonuses.
- $1.88 million for an early childhood scholarship program to subsidize early childhood care while newly employed parents wait to enroll in publicly funded programs.
Neighborhood arts and amenities
- $3 million for a fund to stimulate investment in transformative arts projects with capital needs, with a focus on areas with high BIPOC populations that lack investment in the arts, developing areas with significant artistic activity and promoting increased walking.
modern town hall
- $16.35 million for repairs and “greening” of City Hall, replacement of the roof and insulation (causing damage to the interior), and consolidation of the envelope of the building, exterior masonry and windows of the Town Hall, resulting in a greener building and energy savings.
- $300,000 to fund Dollars for Doses, an incentive program offering cash rewards to residents who get their COVID shots, aimed at increasing rates in areas hardest hit by COVID and building trust among residents and institutions.
In addition, the city council is seeking $4.7 million to increase coordination and support for victims of domestic and sexual violence or abuse and $1 million to expand the right to a lawyer, fund lawyers and other staff to provide free housing assistance to Cleveland residents, including extensive representation in court, brief legal advice and pro se assistance, as well as community outreach and education regarding services and the support available for Cleveland residents.
The proposals must now be passed by the council and will be incorporated into legislation and presented on September 12.
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