By Bryan Boggiano
The City of Coral Springs invites all residents and businesses to discuss decision-making for funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
A forum will take place at City Hall, located at 9500 West Sample Road, on Mon., January 24, at 6 p.m.
The meeting will include a presentation, and overview, of how the money will be spent, and a question-and-answer session.
Officials will ask residents what city components and functions would benefit most from ARPA funding.
On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed ARPA into law, allocating $1.9 billion to help alleviate economic and health costs due to COVID-19.
For cities with over 50,000 people, they received $20 million to be spent more than two decades. The city will use half of that in 2022 and the other half in 2023.
In November, when the city received ARPA funding and taxable property values from the state, City Manager Frank Babinec announced that the proposed millage rate increase would reduce from 0.35 mills to less than 0.20 mills.
At the same time, he said that the city could use ARPA funding for initiatives such as response to public health, economic response to the pandemic, restoring government infrastructure, capital projects, and broadband expansion.
A city document further outlines these priority areas, including funding for the art museum and parks and developing parks’ solar energy infrastructure.
Other priority areas include:
Infrastructure: Road resurfacing programs will continue, with each road needing resurfacing roughly every 25 years.
City Facility Improvements: As they age, park facilities and pavilions will require roof replacement, maintenance repairs, and air conditioning replacements.
Business Recovery and Workforce: Funding will be allocated toward small business programs to promote workforce development and resiliency. This area also stresses the importance of retaining local businesses in the city.
Healthcare and Mental Health Resources: The city will continue to operate with a mental health provider for city employees.
Housing Assistance: Eligible residents will receive up to $10,000 in rent, mortgage, and utility assistance.
Broadband Expansion: The city will improve internet connectivity at all facilities, including parks.
Citywide Aesthetics: This ongoing initiative will help fund programs such as litter pickup, pressure washing, sidewalk replacements, and maintaining irrigation and landscaping.
City Security: Funding will be used for improved CCTV systems, physical improvements, and other identified hazards.
Public Health: Funding will focus on the protection and response efforts of police, firefighters, and first responders, which includes accessing PPE.
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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