By: Keri Yousif
The City of Terre Haute has nearly $36 million of committed ARPA funds. ARPA stands for the American Rescue Plan Act, signed by President Biden in 2021, which allotted $65.1 billion of aid to municipalities across the country.
On February 2, 2023, Mayor Duke Bennett presented an initial proposal to the City Council on how Terre Haute might spend those funds. The Mayor’s proposal would allocate the most money, $9 million, to public spaces, which includes $4 million for City Hall (electrical and HVAC updates, as well as flooring and paint), and $5 million for city parks.
The Mayor named Herz-Rose, Fairbanks and Rea Parks, and Deming Pool as proposed sites for select projects. Infrastructure is listed as $5.5 million, divided between $3.5 million for 13th Street and 8th Avenue storm and wastewater projects and $2 million for a Brown Avenue storm water project.
Next is housing: $5 million. The Mayor cited possible partners as the Terre Haute Area Association of Realtors, Mental Health America, and Habitat for Humanity. Downtown development would receive $4 million, with a hotel parking garage and possibly an additional hotel suggested.
Public Safety is slated for $3.2 million for an upgrade in radio communication for all city services. The Mayor proposed $1.75 million in small business assistance, listing minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, LGBTQ+-owned businesses, in addition to small business support and new business development.
An early childhood facility and programming would receive $1 million. $500,000 would go to non-profit project support, $500,000 to food deserts (food banks, meal sites), and $250,000 to the Vigo County Humane Shelter, the money to help fund a low-cost animal clinic, including a “low or no-cost spay and neuter program.” The Mayor’s proposal totals $30.7 million, with $592,205 in remaining funds.
The Mayor stated that the city and the county are working together to coordinate and thus maximize the use of city and county ARPA funds. He also noted that some of the proposed projects are linked to state READI funds (Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative) and several have matching requirements, including matching funds from private investment.
Following the February city council meeting, the Council and the Mayor have scheduled a special meeting, during which time the Mayor and the City Council will discuss the ARPA proposal in detail. The meeting will be open to the public (Monday, May 22 at 5 p.m. at City Hall); however, it will be closed to public comment. The public will have an opportunity to respond to the ARPA proposal and its details at the June City Council meeting.
Find out more:
The exact amount of committed funds for the City of Terre Haute is $35,936,890.00: https://www.nlc.org/resource/local-allocations-in-the-american-rescue-plan/
For more information on ARPA funds: https://www.gfoa.org/american-rescue-plan-spending-guiding-principles
You can track how cities are spending their ARPA funds at: https://www.nlc.org/resource/covid-19-local-action-tracker/
For more information on Indiana READI funds: https://www.iedc.in.gov/program/indiana-readi/overview
See Mayor Bennett’s initial presentation of proposed use of ARPA funds to the City Council: https://www.terrehaute.in.gov/departments/city-council/cityofterrehaute_apra_presentation.pdf/view
See also the video of Mayor Bennett’s presentation to the City Council on 2/2/23 (time stamp, 32:45): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_Eb0fZDHNw
One response to “Mayor’s proposal for spending 36$ in ARPA funding”
Duke will help you spend that money. You watch it’ll all be gone and nothing to show for it LOL people.