Beech Grove offers stipend to city employees who worked through COVID-19 pandemic

·2 min read

Beech Grove employees who have worked with the city since the start of the coronavirus pandemic will receive a $2,500 stipend from the federal funding distributed to the city through the American Rescue Plan.

The money for the 95 eligible full-time employees who worked at the city before March 8, 2020, is part of the city's spending plan for the $3.3 million-worth of federal aid, which will roll out in two phases. Elected officials will not receive the stipend.

Mayor Dennis Buckley said in a statement that he's grateful city employees held up Beech Grove during a challenging time.

“When the first stay-at-home orders took effect, our city employees never stopped working,” said Buckley, a Democrat. “They patrolled our streets, responded to public safety emergencies, picked up trash, and managed city operations and finances, all while engaging with the public in the middle of a public health crisis."

Dennis Buckley, mayor of Beech Grove, which has seen a death due to COVID-19, Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
Dennis Buckley, mayor of Beech Grove, which has seen a death due to COVID-19, Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

Unprecedented funding: How Indianapolis plans to its American Rescue Plan money

Aside from the stipends, the Beech Grove Common Council also approved $1.2 million in other priorities for the first phase of its spending plan, according to clerk-treasurer Jim Coffman. That includes $100,000 for police in 2022. The other priorities are:

  • A HVAC system for the senior center: $25,000

  • A van for the Hornet Park Community Center food pantry: estimated $40,000

  • City Hall sanitation and ventilation system improvements: $70,000

  • Stormwater infrastructure at Hornet Park Community Center: estimated $500,000

  • LED street light replacement: estimated $165,000

  • Thompson trail, a new trail running from South 9th Street to Emerson Avenue along Thompson Road: estimated $318,000

  • Cost to administer American Rescue Plan funds: estimated $15,000

The city received its first half of American Rescue Plan funds, roughly $1.7 million, in July. It will receive its second half next year.

The first phase of funding focused on city operations and public infrastructure. Second phase priorities, expected in 2022, will focus on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the community.

“While our plan is in the early stages, I want to commend our Common Council members for taking a creative look at how we can use these funds in a responsible and thoughtful manner,” Buckley said. “As we work through this process, I look forward to collaborating with our council and our community to putting these funds to good use.”

Call IndyStar reporter Amelia Pak-Harvey at 317-444-6175 or email her at apakharvey@indystar.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmeliaPakHarvey.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: American Rescue Plan funding: Beech Grove offers stipends to employees

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting