The vast majority of the city’s allocation is going towards projects that aim to have a long-term impact on the community, including building new fire stations, infrastructure related to water and sewer utilities and projects aimed at addressing homelessness and creating more affordable housing options.
However, federal guidelines also stated that money can be set aside to address cultural institutions, which throughout the nation, were hit hard by the pandemic as many had to hold programming or postpone operations in 2020.
Though many have resumed programming that was previously put on hold or have opened up their doors to the public, the American Rescue Plan dollars aim to provide relief none-the-less.
In Springfield, that means money going towards current and new programming geared towards arts, history and music. As a result, the city allocated $320,000 to be distributed in grants that would be awarded to various organizations throughout the community.
All nine of the community organizations and non-profits that applied for those grants will be awarded funding. That decision was recently approved by Springfield commissioners.
Grant allocations range from $10,000 to $60,000, and the organizations receiving money include:
- The Clark County Historical Society; $50,000
- The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau; $40,000
- The Friends of the Harman Rock Garden; $10,000
- The Gammon House, Inc.; $10,000
- The Ohio Performing Arts Institute; $20,000
- The Springfield Foundation; $40,000
- The Springfield Museum of Art; $60,000
- The Springfield Symphony Orchestra; $50,000
- The Westcott House Foundation; $40,000
There are no current plans of an additional grant cycle regarding those arts, cultural and tourism institutions. However, the city would consider additional funding opportunities to those types of organizations in the future, said Springfield City Manager Bryan Heck.
Other grants may be available using ARP dollars that would focus on housing solutions as part of the city’s larger plans to tackle a lack of safe and affordable housing, Heck added.
The city manager in a presentation to Springfield commissioners last year outlined how ARP dollars would be allocated by the city. That means $18 million could go towards the construction of three new fire stations, $3 million could go to the plaza renovations, $11 million could go towards key infrastructure projects related to water and sewer utilities and $12 million could go to addressing the city’s homeless crisis as well as creating more affordable housing.
“We want to be strategic in how we use this money and focus on projects that have a long term investment that we can look back to in the future and see the impact,” Heck previously stated.
The city has until 2024 to allocate those ARP funds and has to spend those dollars by the end of 2026.