The City of Harrisonburg has been awarded $23.8 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to be used to support our community and address needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The goals of this program are to:
- Support families and businesses struggling with the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Maintain vital public services, even amid declines in revenue resulting from the crisis
- Build a strong, resilient, and equitable recovery by making investments that support long-term growth and opportunity
These funds represent a once-in-a-generation investment in our community, and we appreciate the community members who have provided their input to help us understand the impacts, needs, and ideas for restoring and transforming our community. After the collection and analysis of our community's input, a list of projects and priorities will be made available from that input for the community to indicate their preferences of what is most important to them.
*More information about the next step in Harrisonburg's ARPA program will be available soon.
How can ARPA funding be used to help our community?
The following focus areas are all options for how these dollars can help Harrisonburg:
Community Health and Wellness - Supporting physical, mental health and substance abuse programs and support for social services and programming.
Neighborhood Investments - Improvement to roads and sidewalks, housing rehabilitation, parks, recreation, enhancement of public spaces, community and recreation centers, and improved connectivity and integration of alternate modes of transportation such as greenway trails and projects to improve walkability.
Community Services for Individuals and Families - Homeless and housing services, childcare, youth programs, programs and support for seniors.
Public Facilities and Services - Improvements to public buildings and facilities, public safety programs and equipment.
Maintaining and Growing Jobs and Businesses - Investments in areas negatively impacted by the pandemic such as tourism, travel and hospitality; efforts to increase job creation and workforce training; and considering how to address the impacts on wages and salaries.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Q: What kind of information are you collecting in this process?
A: We are interested in hearing stories and ideas about impacts of the pandemic and the needs that have arisen because of these impacts. While we will collect general information about you as well, we will ensure that no responses can be linked to your identity.
Q: What happens after I attend a forum or complete the survey?
A: The information collected in the survey and in the meetings will be pooled together and the facilitation team will pull it all together into a concise report for City Council and the public to review.
Q: Has the City already spent some of these ARPA funds?
A: The Harrisonburg City Council has obligated funding from ARPA to support three projects as of March 10. Those projects are:
- Construction of a fifth Harrisonburg fire station, which will reduce response times across the city - especially in the Park View area of the city and in the area around Station 4 on Rock Street. View HFD Chief Matthew Tobia's presentation to City Council on the need for a fifth fire station.
- Purchase of a property to house a shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness in Harrisonburg, which will establish a permanent low-barrier shelter in the city for the first time.
- Supporting retention payments to City staff members to ensure essential City services continue unchanged and to make the City of Harrisonburg more competitive in job recruitment of vital positions. Vew Interim City Manager Ande Banks' presentation to City Council on the one-time retention payments.
Q: Is there a chance the City could receive more than $23.8 million in ARPA funding?
A: The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) included $1.9 trillion to aid public health and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Harrisonburg directly will receive $23.8 million. Billions of dollars of other ARPA funds will flow through the Commonwealth of Virginia to communities, businesses and households. The City has hired an ARPA Coordinator who will work to identify additional dollars that could benefit the Harrisonburg community, and to coordinate effort to apply for funding for special projects brought up during the ARPA engagement process. That's why your feedback is so important, regardless of what projects have already been selected.
The Commonwealth Institute has more information on how funding from the American Rescue Plan Act has been categorized in Virginia. See the image below or visit https://thecommonwealthinstitute.org/the-half-sheet/use-of-arpa-funds-a-step-forward-more-to-be-done-to-build-a-just-future/