On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) was signed into law by Pres. Joe Biden. This $1.9 trillion bill provided funding for municipalities as an infusion of resources to meet COVID-19 pandemic response needs and rebuild a stronger, more equitable economy as the country recovers. Norristown will receive $20,140,216 in economic stimulus money through ARPA!
Municipal Administrator Crandall O. Jones provided an update at the Municipal Council Work Session on June 15 about funds received, information about using the the money, and how to get community and council input on how to use the funds. Public meetings will be held to gather input before the submission of a list of projects goes before council for approval. Community input sessions are expected to start this summer.
On July 20, council approved Resolution 21-63 to hire Triad Associates to provide coordination, reporting, consulting and public engagement services related to ARPA funding. The contract, worth $75,000, is a qualifying expense of ARPA funds. Triad will help engage the community and create meaningful projects and infrastructure improvements to support community sustainability.
On Aug. 4, council approved the following uses of the initial $10 million the municipality has received:
$3 million- To supplement the lost revenue from 2020 into the general fund.
$2.1 million- To support operations of the Norristown Stormwater Authority and do an assessment of the sewer system.
$393,000- Playground upgrades at Bartash and McCann parks, lighting upgrades for Latshaw, basketball court improvements at Simmons Park.
Through CitizenLab, we have launched a new platform that will collect community feedback on the use of ARPA funds. Norristownbuzz.org has on-going polls to see the community's prioirities for using this unprecedented influx of stimulus funds.
June 15- June 15 update to council and the public.
Aug. 4- Update, Phase 1 project list.