Smith unveils ‘Better Together’ plan for ARP funds

LIMA — Mayor Sharetta Smith on Monday revealed a sweeping proposal for how the city of Lima may invest $26 million in federal American Rescue Plan funding to support dozens of neighborhood revitalization, job creation, youth development and community projects.

The Better Together proposal, shared with Lima City Council on Monday, is drawn from weeks of community input, during which residents, business owners and other stakeholders ranked their top concerns and ideas to help city officials identify uses for the ARP funding.

The plan, which requires council authorization before spending can begin, calls for $3.9 million for neighborhood improvements; $6.5 million to support economic development and job creation, including the creation of public service and construction apprenticeship programs to recruit more police, fire and construction workers; $7.4 million to maintain city services; $5.2 million to invest in parks and youth programs, including a community pool and expanded after school programs; and $3.2 million toward housing initiatives.

Neighborhoods: $3.9 million

• $1.5 million for demolition projects

• $1.2 million for street and curb improvements

• $350,000 for ADA-compliant ramps, sidewalks and intersections

• $500,000 for neighborhood business façade improvement matching grants targeting commercial corridors in under-appreciated neighborhoods

• $350,000 for street lighting

• $75,000 for blight removal, including tree removal, alley cleanup and beautification

Job creation and economic development: $6.5 million

• $5 million for opportunity zones

• $550,000 for intersection of W. Spring and S. Main Streets

• $500,000 for revolving small business loan fund

• $500,000 for public service and construction apprenticeships

• $25,000 for arts, culture and tourism

City services: $7.4 million

• $7 million for police, fire and other departmental staffing

• $420,000 for one-time premium pay for city workers who performed essential services during pandemic

Parks, recreation and youth services: $5.2 million

• $4 million for community pool

• $1 million for recreational facilities and playground equipment

• $150,000 to increase youth employment training and establish summer jobs program

• $50,000 for expanded after-school and summer playground programming

Housing: $3.2 million

• $1.7 million for development of new housing

• $500,000 for paint program

• $500,000 for home preservation and COVID finance grants

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By Mackenzi Klemann

[email protected]