The Perfect Enemy | Harrisburg mayor urges council to act on spending proposal for COVID-19 relief money - WGAL Susquehanna Valley Pa.
February 27, 2024

Harrisburg mayor urges council to act on spending proposal for COVID-19 relief money – WGAL Susquehanna Valley Pa.

Harrisburg mayor urges council to act on spending proposal for COVID-19 relief money  WGAL Susquehanna Valley Pa.

Harrisburg’s mayor is pushing to spend the city’s remaining federal COVID-19 relief dollars on projects like affordable housing and a redesigning a rundown city pool, and she’s calling on city council to approve the plan sooner rather than later.”We have individuals who are losing their homes,” Mayor Wanda Williams said.Williams said there’s a big need for affordable housing in Harrisburg. She wants to set aside $8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to build more.”If I have the developers ready to put the shovel to the ground and they’re ready to do that, but council keeps waiting and holding,” Williams said.Williams made that affordable housing proposal in her initial spending ask to council last year. The proposal also included $8 million to redesign the closed pool at Hall Manor, money to demolish blighted properties and grants to small businesses affected by the pandemic.Council last summer approved using $16.5 million in ARPA funds to offset lost revenue, pay for improvements to city hall and provide bonuses for city cops and firefighters.On Tuesday, the chair of the council’s budget and finance committee said public meetings are being scheduled to vet the mayor’s other requests.”The public can evaluate this and then come back. If there are any changes that would need to be made, we would look to make those,” Councilwoman Ausha Green said.But Williams said there have already been meetings on how to spend the money, and time is slipping away – particularly for projects that will require construction.”They want to have an idea of what we’re going to utilize the money for and our deadline is Dec. 31, 2024, so we need to get on the ball,” she said.News 8 reached out to Green but didn’t hear back.

Harrisburg’s mayor is pushing to spend the city’s remaining federal COVID-19 relief dollars on projects like affordable housing and a redesigning a rundown city pool, and she’s calling on city council to approve the plan sooner rather than later.

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“We have individuals who are losing their homes,” Mayor Wanda Williams said.

Williams said there’s a big need for affordable housing in Harrisburg. She wants to set aside $8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to build more.

“If I have the developers ready to put the shovel to the ground and they’re ready to do that, but council keeps waiting and holding,” Williams said.

Williams made that affordable housing proposal in her initial spending ask to council last year. The proposal also included $8 million to redesign the closed pool at Hall Manor, money to demolish blighted properties and grants to small businesses affected by the pandemic.

Council last summer approved using $16.5 million in ARPA funds to offset lost revenue, pay for improvements to city hall and provide bonuses for city cops and firefighters.

On Tuesday, the chair of the council’s budget and finance committee said public meetings are being scheduled to vet the mayor’s other requests.

“The public can evaluate this and then come back. If there are any changes that would need to be made, we would look to make those,” Councilwoman Ausha Green said.

But Williams said there have already been meetings on how to spend the money, and time is slipping away – particularly for projects that will require construction.

“They want to have an idea of what we’re going to utilize the money for and our deadline is Dec. 31, 2024, so we need to get on the ball,” she said.

News 8 reached out to Green but didn’t hear back.