RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The City of Richmond’s American Rescue Plan Act budget amendment was introduced at the city council meeting on Monday night.
The meeting outlined the proposed allocation of $77.5 million from the federal government, which is the first half of the total $155 million funding allotted to the city under the plan.
The final spending plan was agreed upon between the city administration and the city council. Since the plan is a budget amendment, it cannot be amended. The money can be spent through 2026.
“This final plan represents a blueprint for building back better and stronger through strategic, intentional and equitable investments that deliver on the promise of a quality of life our residents want, need and deserve,” said Mayor Levar M. Stoney.
The overall spending proposal includes the following:
· $32 million to build back affordable and healthy homes, including $20 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, meeting the goal established in the Equity Agenda and supported by City Council four years ahead of schedule.
· $5 million for a Health Equity fund, managed by the Richmond City Health District through an MOU with the city. The fund would support ongoing COVID-19 response, maternal and infant health, food access, mental and behavioral health, and more.
· $80 million invested in children and families, residents’ top priority in the first round of public engagement, with $2 million for childcare and $78 million for funding community centers including T.B. Smith Community Center, Southside Community Center, Calhoun Center and a new center on the current site of Lucks Field.
The plan also includes $19 million set aside for planning and addressing climate and environmental challenges in the city, as well as an $8.5 million investment in public safety and $5.9 million in economic supports.
The city reached out to 1,300 individuals for feedback on the draft plan from Sept. 2021 to Oct. 4, 2021.
City council is expected to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the plan at their meeting scheduled for Oct. 25.