The City Commission approved three recommended projects for the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds at their regular meeting Tuesday.
The city will receive a total of $30.5 million to help the community with COVID-19 pandemic impacts. There are specific federal regulations tied to this funding, and we also are recommending projects based on our budget goals/priorities. We updated those this year with the community’s help; over 800 people completed our priority based budgeting survey to contribute to that conversation.
The three approved projects are:
- $2.5 million to the McCamly Hotel and plaza. The former McCamly Plaza Hotel has a tough history and is not being used. The building needs repairs, and multiple community groups are coming together to ensure local ownership, and bring back this large tourism asset. It is a need for our overall economy, and will be a partnership with Grand Valley State University, creating a learning environment for hospitality management students.
- $815,000 to purchase the Dolliver Building (135 N. Washington Ave., across from the Federal Center) for affordable housing. We have to buy this property from the federal government to eliminate development restrictions, and we commit to helping this property serve the community with an affordable housing project (not yet identified).
- $775,000 to create forgivable hotel/motel loans for shared kitchenettes and residential amenities. We anticipate a pandemic eviction crisis, and know families live in hotels/motels when they do not have other housing options. We want to help families who are staying long-term in hotels/motels, as we also work on affordable housing solutions.
The City Commission will approve all ARPA dollars spending. We must assign the money by the end of 2024, and spend it by the end of 2026, as required by the federal government.
We are in the middle of hosting town hall talks about this process, and want to hear the dreams and ideas our neighbors have for spending this money.
Get the remaining schedule, see the virtual town hall talk, and see the full list of recommended projects on our website, battlecreekmi.gov/arpa. You can also submit a web form with your funding idea. Please contact us with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 269-966-3311.