SCHENECTADY — The city of Schenectady is dispatching award letters for nearly three dozen projects that were awarded American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding by the city over the summer.
In August and September, the City Council awarded a total of $25.9 million in ARPA funding for 33 projects from the city’s original allocation of $52.9 million in ARPA money.
During the council’s Dec. 5 committee meeting, Schenectady Director of Development Kristin Diotte and Schenectady Corporation Counsel Andrew Koldin provided the board with an update regarding the ARPA-funded projects.
“The law department is putting together the contracts for the recipients who we can go right into contract with where there were no contingencies,” Koldin informed the board.
Seven of the approved projects include terms in which the recipients must secure additional financial commitments from outside sources in order to receive the city funding.
“Once a project is ready and the contingencies have been met, then we’ll be able to move forward in terms of the contract and actually releasing any of the monies,” Diotte said on Friday “The projects that are ready to go we’re already working on the draft contracts for those and we’re looking to start the work as soon as possible. Some other ones just need a little more time to get the resources together to make the project feasible. We just have to see how that goes as we move forward.”
Diotte said the award letters have been dispatched to the funding recipients.
“Anybody who was allocated funding will receive their award letter and we’ll be able to move those forward as projects become ready,” she said on Friday.
Diotte noted during the meeting that a 12-month window was set from the time the council awarded the contracts in August for each recipient to meet the specified requirements for each project.
Approved projects that feature contingencies include $1 million for the Electric City Food Cooperative, which must secure an additional $5.7 million from additional sources in order to receive city ARPA funding for its Electric City Food Cooperative: Building Back Better, Together Project.
The Hamilton Hill “Drop In” Arts and Crafts Association must also secure additional commitments of $300,000 from other sources in order to receive
$1.2 million from the city for the organization’s Hamilton Hill Arts Center Gallery and Performance Center Project.
“The projects with no contingencies, they can just go ahead and fund their project,” Schenectady City Council President Marion Porterfield said following the Dec. 5 meeting. “Those are going to contract, that’s what they said they’re working on getting those contracts out the door so that money can move. Those projects with contingencies, they’re actually writing a letter to explain what all of the contingencies are and what their time frame is.”
Among the projects without contingencies is $500,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County for neighborhood revitalization, $4.5 million for the construction of a new, modern pool facility within Central Park and $500,000 in repairs for the Central Park tennis courts.
“We’re still validating some of the costs on those projects,” Mayor Gary McCarthy said after the meeting. “The city swimming pool project in Central Park is a good project and the neighbors support it. The council supports it and we’re all working to move forward on it. That is out in the street now for bids and our professionals looking at it say they anticipate the cost on that to probably be higher than what we’ve projected.”
Porterfield noted during the meeting that she wants to make sure the council is keeping track of how the ARPA money is being spent as the projects move forward.
“I would recommend that once we get this all in order that we have folks who did get funding come and have quarterly updates to let us know where they are with the projects,” she said.
McCarthy said the city would be deliberate in the process of dispatching the funding.
“These are big projects and we want to do them right,” he said. “So we’ll take them one-by-one and move through them.”
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: Email Newsletter, News, News, Schenectady, Schenectady County