Applications Open Soon for Pittsfield’s ARPA Money, Opening a New Chapter in the City’s Relationship with the Program | look ahead
PITTSFIELD – Mayor Linda Tyer is set to open a new chapter in the city’s use of federal coronavirus relief money as she invites community organizations to submit applications for nearly $13 million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funds.
The media alert for the event, scheduled for Monday morning, is simple: “Mayor Linda Tyer will make an announcement on the City of Pittsfield’s invitation for proposals for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. “. But the application process is a bit more important.
Over the past six months, the city has collected information on ARPA money, with public participation in a community survey, four public forums, the creation of the Mayor’s Advisory Council and sessions with stakeholders at the end of last month.
Now, community organizations and the general public will have the opportunity to play a more active role in the process by submitting their ideas and requests on how federal money will be used in the coming years.
Tyer appeared on the Commonwealth Magazine Codcast last week and told host Bruce Mohl the city will have something of a two-pronged approach to nominations.
One will be the application available in the invitation to apply for project proposals that either focus on child development and youth intervention; mental health and substance abuse disorders; services for the disabled, the elderly and veterans; community initiatives or cultural organizations.
The other type of application is a concept application. Tyer said on the Codcast Podcast that this app will be for “if there’s anyone in the community who isn’t sure and doesn’t have a full idea, they can submit a concept app and our goal is to see how can we create collaboration.”
City officials have already announced how they plan to spend at least $7.35 million of the first $20.3 million ARPA payment available to them. The applications discussed Monday will help an evaluation committee decide how to spend the remaining $12.95 million from the first installment of federal funds.
The application process comes at an interesting time in the ARPA program. On Jan. 31, Pittsfield will be required to submit a quarterly report on plans and spending to the Treasury Department.
In this report, the city will be required to document any ARPA money spent between March 3 and December 31 of last year, a list and description of the projects the money was used for, the status of the project, and the demographics of the people served. by the project. This report promises to be the most detailed look at how and where Pittsfield ARPA’s money is going in the early months of the federal program.
Heads upThe agenda for Tuesday’s city council meeting is rather short, filled mostly with requests for council to accept grants to the city’s public safety departments. But an item on the agenda can arouse the interest of residents.
The money available and its sustainable use was a major talking point in November when the city council set the property tax rate. Now the free money is back on the city council’s agenda, this time as part of a request from Pittsfield Municipal Airport.
Airport officials are asking the board to approve the use of $162,400 of available city money to remove trees around the airport that the Federal Aviation Administration has deemed safety risks to aircraft approaching the runways.
In a letter to the board about the request, airport manager Dan Shearer said the airport will pursue reimbursement for the cost of the work from an FAA grant, but the city will have to d pay the bill first.