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Norwalk allocates $6.7M in ARPA funds for environment and sustainability

Norwalk allocates $6.7M in ARPA funds for environment and sustainability

NORWALK The city intends to use more than $6 million from its American Rescue Plan Act funds in the future to support green infrastructure and sustainability.

In a presentation provided to the Common Councils Economic and Community Development Committee, head of economic and community development Jess Vonashek outlined the four different city sectors that will receive green infrastructure through ARPA: Business support, walkability/connectivity, environmental/green space/livability and housing.

Vonashek explained that of the more $39 million in ARPA funds the city will receive, $6.7 million or 17 % will be used to support Norwalks economic growth.

Vonashek stated that we looked at many different plans and studies and found over 150 projects through those plans. We will be able advance more than 90% of these efforts by using different funding sources. We are in a great position to help advance a variety of economic and community development initiatives. We are trying to build healthy neighborhoods.

Of the $6.7 million appropriated for community development, $3.4 million will go toward business support, $1.9 million for walkability/connectivity, $995,000 for environmental/green space and $120,000 for housing, Vonashek said.

The council allocated approximately $2 million in ARPA funds to December. Supporting local nonprofitsAnd several other thousands to get you started. Program for small business loans.

The $1.9 million that was appropriated will be divided among four projects to improve connectivity and walkability.

Vonashek stated that the Wall Street design’s second and third phases will be responsible for $250,000 of the ARPA funds. Around $1 million will be used to fund sidewalks and bike lanes throughout the city.

Vonashek announced that $250,000 will be given to the Complete Street plan, which is designed to improve accessibility and ease-of-use for all road users, including pedestrians and drivers.

ARPA money will also be used to hire a transportation, mobility, and parking project manager for three years. This will help plan and coordinate such ARPA-funded projects.

Vonashek explained that ARPA allows us three years to hire a project manger to support all this work.

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A number of ongoing projects have already contributed $3.9 million to walkability in the City. ARPA will split the $995,000 between five projects to support environmental and green space projects.

Vonashek announced that the tree management program, which will catalogue and work to expand the city’s tree canopy, as well as the tree planting programme will receive $150,000 each and $500,000, respectively.

$150,000 will be used to develop a climate action plan. $70,000 will be used to conduct an economic impact analysis at the Maritime Aquarium. $125,000 will be also given to a harbor use plan.

Vonashek explained that while we were talking about transient anchorings and discussing a lot of other ways to use the harbor’s resources, this would actually allow for us to identify funding streams and recommendation to help move that forward.

Vonashek also stated that the $120,000 housing fund will help to finance an affordable housing plan. A request for proposals to a company for an affordable housing plan is currently being drafted and will be available in February.

Vonashek said that even though housing is not on the list, it is still getting a lot attention through other funding streams.

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