Council Approves $5 Million In ARPA Fund Spending | News, Sports, Jobs

Rivai H Tukimen

The Jamestown City Council approved $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act fund spending during its voting session Monday.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

The Jamestown City Council has approved $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act fund spending to assist both large and small businesses in the city.

On Monday, the council approved 12 resolutions dealing with allocating ARPA funds to programs like building and property infrastructure improvements; equipment and machinery; internet technology upgrades; downtown small business evolution; strategic property acquisition; workforce development; construction trade workforce development; new business assistance; Chadakoin River activation; downtown programming; and for a business incubator.

Two of the resolutions approved by the council were amended prior to being passed. Both the building and property infrastructure and equipment and machinery resolutions funding was cut in half before passing. Both resolutions each had the programs receiving $1 million, but Andrew Faulkner, Ward 6 councilman, proposed amending both to $500,000.

After the meeting, Faulkner said he thought the $1 million amount was too high for both programs. He said if the programs are successful and need more funds, the council can approve allocating them more money in the future.

Faulkner also said he believes too much of the $28 million in ARPA funds the city received is designated for economic development, which is $10 million. He said more money should go toward public safety to assist the Jamestown Police Department in curtailing gun violence and drugs. He also said more ARPA money should go toward improving the city’s housing stock.

Even though 12 resolutions were approved, four proposals failed. Three of the four proposals that failed dealt with using ARPA funds for branding and marketing commercial businesses, small businesses and the city. Another failed resolution would have funded $500,000 to the Jamestown Local Development Corp. for ARPA contracting services.

Anthony Dolce, council president, said he believes some of the council members voted against these resolutions because they felt it was a duplication of services already being provided in the community.

“I want to work with the administration to get (the ARPA programs) on the table,” he said about approving each resolution.

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