Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra during Thursday’s City Council meeting announced the 61 projects that received grants totaling $4 million from the American Rescue Plan Act money designated by the city for community recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. These projects will support recovery, build resilience and reconnect the community.
I was one of two city councilors, along with Vice President Karen Foster of Ward 2, to serve on the 12-member ARPA Advisory Committee that determined the application process and criteria for awarding the grants. We held eight community listening sessions to help develop the requests for proposals. The city received a total of 98 project submissions that totaled about $20 million.
Councilor Foster and I also served on the committee that reviewed all the applications and made recommendations to the mayor about awarding the grants. We were guided by the priorities determined by the 2021 community survey assessing the impacts of the pandemic, as well as information gathered during the listening sessions.
About 27 percent of the grants will pay for housing and shelter services, 25 percent will address food insecurity, 12 percent will assist nonprofit organizations,10 percent will support small businesses,10 percent will help finance arts programs, 8 percent will go to early education and child care, and the remainder is for health care and other projects that help reconnect the community.
A list of recipients is available here:
The community recovery grants represent 18.4 percent of the total $21.7 million that Northampton received in ARPA funds. The money must be spent by June 30, 2026.