City of Hattiesburg launches survey for ARPA funds ideas
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The City of Hattiesburg wants to hear from area residents regarding how they want to see federal funds spent.
Hattiesburg received $12.8 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which provides funds to help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the city, those funds can go towards different sectors such as public health initiatives, education and housing.
Back in April, the state legislature established a one-to-one matching grant program. It matches ARPA funding spent on water, sewer and stormwater projects dollar for dollar, meaning the city’s $12.8 million could turn into nearly $25 million if used on those types of projects.
Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker said the city would likely use most of its ARPA funds for those types of projects.
However, he said the city wants area residents to give their input on other options.
“If they have ideas on projects that they would like to see in the city, things they would like to see this one-time money used for, whether it’s invested in human capital or WiFi at parks or some other wish-list item they have, they can submit that there,” Barker said.
He adds these other projects could potentially come to fruition if the city receives additional funding in the future.
“Getting public input, though, provides a framework for what our residents want,” Barker said. “And so, even if ARPA money is not used to accomplish those specific things, they’ll be on our list. And one thing we’ve been successful at over the last five years is getting state and federal resources to pay for things. So, I hope this is another item that we get feedback on from the public, and hopefully, it will help us use this ARPA money strategically.”
For a link to the survey, click here.
It can also be accessed by calling the mayor’s office at 601-545-4501.
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