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Mayor Outlines ARPA Impact On Community

Mayor Eddie Sundquist emphasized the “transformational” nature of the American Rescue Plan Act funding in 2022 during his State of the City address.

As a result of the dedication of community organizations and the city’s lobbying efforts, Jamestown received over $28 million in ARPA funding.

“Nothing has been quite transformational as the funds we received from the American Rescue Plan Act,” Sundquist said. “These funds give the city an opportunity to invest in needed capital improvements across every city department, help our homeowners and businesses recover from the pandemic and improve public safety.”

Through the ARPA funding, Sundquist said over 300 senior households received funding to help with necessary home improvements and more than 100 roof replacement projects have been funded. Regarding businesses in the community, ARPA funds have provided the city with opportunities to invest in local businesses that were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by allocating resources to help businesses hire more employees and make a variety of improvements to their businesses.

In addition to these programs, Sundquist said the city was able to allocate a “substantial amount of funds” for the demolition of blighted buildings and the redevelopment of properties throughout the city. According to Sundquist, the redevelopment of neglected properties will provide opportunities for low-income home-buyers to purchase houses.

Prior to investing in community programs through ARPA funding, Sundquist said the city collaborated with the Community Foundation to host “listening sessions” for community members to provide input on potential programs and projects that “touch on every single aspect of the city.”

“As we transition into 2023, I am proud to say that more than $23 million has been allocated in recovery projects and programs, including needed capital spending for every city department, more public safety officers, cleaning up the Chadakoin River with the removal of invasive species, investments into our incredible parks system and programs for homeowners and businesses,” he said.

Sundquist explained that every department of the city has contributed to the implementation of the ARPA funding for the improvement of the Jamestown community. While Sundquist said the city will continue to utilize ARPA funding throughout 2023, he indicated that the city’s goal of allocating the “vast majority” of the funding has already been completed.

The federal ARPA funding has helped the city address issues such as gun violence, which Sundquist said has recently seen a sharp increase in the community.

“We knew that investment into our police department was necessary and wanted to do it the right way,” he said. “Working with our City Council, we approved new officers to help with the protection of citizens through a new program, which brings our police department staffing up to full force.”

Sundquist explained that the city’s investment into the Jamestown Police Department includes additional police officers for the Gun Task Force and a quality of life officer to address nuisance complaints in the community.

The city has also added its first explosive detection dog, a comfort dog for victims of domestic violence and a new resource officer for the Jamestown Public Schools District elementary and middle schools.

Sundquist said the police department has also worked to seize large quantities of illegal drugs and firearms throughout the city in an effort to make local neighborhoods safer.

For the first time in over 20 years, Sundquist said the city has provided the opportunity for local residents to participate in the Citizen Police Academy. The program showcases the day-to-day work of Jamestown’s Police Department.

“The continued work of our officers as members of our community, keeping the public safe and being responsive is certainly recognized by city residents, and we thank all of our officers for their hard work and diligence,” Sundquist said.

In addition to the city’s commitment to public safety through the police department, Sundquist said the Jamestown Fire Department is currently undergoing “several additions” this year. As a result of the city’s ARPA funding, the fire department has been able to expand, providing additional fire protection and emergency services.

Sundquist said the city’s new emergency services billing system resulted in revenue exceeding the city’s projections during its first full year. According to Sundquist, the revenue from the new system has allowed the city to invest in additional equipment for the fire department.

While Sundquist detailed many improvements in the city during 2022 through ARPA funding, he indicated that additional programs will be coming in 2023.

“I’m excited to announce that more projects with this federal funding are coming soon in the future,” he said.

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