Aldermen give initial approval to city's plan for $43.2 million in American Rescue Plan funds

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Jul. 8—City aldermen voted Tuesday to grant initial approval to Manchester's proposal for use of $43.2 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan.

Aldermen gave approval on a voice vote after Mayor Joyce Craig presented her proposal for the funds, which includes an affordable housing trust fund to a community health and violent crime reduction program.

"I'm thrilled the Board of Aldermen voted to move our American Rescue Plan proposal forward. These federal funds provide a unique opportunity to help our city recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and build a stronger economy," said Craig in a statement.

Manchester has received $21.6 million from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) so far, and is expected to receive another $21.6 million in May 2022.

The funds have to be allocated by the end of 2024 and projects using the funds must be completed by 2026.

The majority of the programs and positions are funded through December 2026. Officials said throughout the five years of funding, the city will collect data and measure program effectiveness.

The recommendations will be vetted by the Finance Committee of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, then brought forward for a final vote by the board.

Following the board's vote, local leaders across the city voiced support for the proposal.

"The Greater Manchester Chamber, along with many community business leaders, support the proposed ARPA spending plan and the investments that will generate and support job growth, stimulate economic activity and expansion, and strengthen the City's ability to attract and retain its workforce," said Greater Manchester Chamber CEO Mike Skelton in a statement.

"Amoskeag Health appreciates the Board of Mayor and Aldermen's commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of our city's residents, especially its children and youth, by moving this proposal forward," said Lara Quiroga, director of Community-Integrated Health and Wellbeing at Amoskeag Health, in a statement.