Revere has received about half of the $30 million it’s scheduled to receive in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, with the remaining $15 million expected to hit city coffers by August.
During City Council Ways & Means Subcommittee budget hearings, city finance director Richard Viscay filled in the council on how the City of Revere has appropriated or plans to use those funds. “These funds cover the period from March 11, 2021, to December 2024, with obligated dollars being spent by December 2026,” said Viscay.
Viscay detailed the approval process for fund requests set up by Mayor Brian Arrigo’s administration, with Viscay, the mayor’s chief of staff, and planning director Tech Lang reviewing applications before sending them off to Arrigo for his final approval. To date, Viscay said, about $18 million of the $30 million has either been spent or committed for various programs. The federal Covid relief act set up several categories for the use of the ARPA funds.
“We set up the $30 million like any other budget,” said Viscay. “We put $5.3 million of that for the response of the public health emergency, and we have committed and expended approximately $3.9 million.”
Some of the uses of the money in that category are funding for a new city health and wellness center on Charger Street and Covid outreach measures, such as testing, vaccinations and other administrative costs. Other projects include $475,000 for the replacement of the turf field at Revere High School and $442,000 towards a Covid vaccination incentive program for city employees. The city also set aside almost $5 million for household assistance, with $2.2 million towards housing relief payments for residents, $555,000, and additional funds for housing stability legal assistance.
The small business and nonprofit assistance includes $4 million mostly administered by the Planning & Community Development Department. Those funds have been used for small business facade improvements, a restaurant recovery program and financial aid to youth sports nonprofits.
About $7.2 million is earmarked for water and sewer infrastructure. The administration is proposing using $3 million of that to help subsidize water and sewer rates for residents.
Another $3.4 million is set aside for travel and tourism purposes, including the creation of a new travel and tourism department in the city.
Viscay said the final $5.2 million is in a contingency fund for projects that do not fall into the other categories. Some of those funds will be used for riverfront public improvements and gate valve and hydrant replacements across the city.