GREENSBORO, N.C. — The city of Greensboro has received $59.4 million in federal funding from the America Rescue Plan to reduce the financial impact of the pandemic.
The emergency funding is for COVID-19 relief and economic recovery.
There are different uses the department of treasury has given the city to choose from.
Some categories include recovery assistance for nonprofits and public safety projects.
Since March of 2020, the city has collected data and looked at ways to best allocate the funds.
The city’s budget analyst Sara Hancock said they'd like some economic recovery funding to go to programs that rely on community turnout.
“For example the coliseum and the performing arts center we lost a bit of revenue there,” Hancock said. “We stopped charging parking fees and transit fees in an effort to make sure they had access to basic things during the pandemic so that’s something else these funds can assist with if the council and leadership choose to invest the money in.”
City leaders want the community’s help drafting how the money should be invested.
One way the city is encouraging input is through their rescue plan simulator.
Outlined are the different areas the money can go toward.
From the available options, community members can map out each dollar allocated in the way they see fit.
So far about 700 people in Greensboro have given their input on where the money should be invested.
“People are indicating that affordable housing, community parks, and programs for youth are extremely important,” Hancock said. “Investing in those industries most impacted by COVI-19 is really the highest priority for our residents.”
For those who aren't able to access the online simulator or have questions about funding allocations, a virtual input meeting was held Tuesday.
The public hearing was run by city council.
“People can talk to council about where their priorities are and let them know directly how they would like the city to invest the money,” Hancock said. “They can fill out a public comment form.”
In order for a project or program to get funding certain criteria must be met.
The community is encouraged to fill out a second survey to help the city create that standard.
“We’d really like to hear from people on how we’re considering evaluating these proposals,” Hancock said. “We think it’s important for people to let us know the factors we need to be considering in terms of what the community needs.”
The funds must be spent by 2026.
City council plans to consider a timeline for when funds will go out within the next month.