Bangor takes first step in planning $20 million ARPA spending

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 10:51 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The City of Bangor took the first step toward allocating $20 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding at Tuesday’s workshop.

The money can spent on services to disproportionately affected communities, negative economic impacts, public health and government services.

Metrics discussed tonight included weighing how many residents would be impacted, the future cost to taxpayers, and the expense of short-term and long-term measures.

The suggested focus areas echoed the public input earlier this year, including housing, mental health services, child care, broadband, and infrastructure.

“We should make sure that we are using this money that impacts all residents so that we are not leaving out children and senior citizens,” councilor Gretchen Schaefer said. “I know there’s a great need for housing and homelessness services, but I want to make sure that we are thinking about all of our population.”

“The mental health and substance use disorder - we know that’s huge, and it definitely needs to be a part of what we address,” councilor Clare Davitt said.

“It’s very clear that affordable broadband is something we have to move forward with if we want to be a progressive community,” councilor Joseph Leonard said.

There is expected to be another follow-up session after reaching out to area nonprofits before Thanksgiving.

The City must spend the money by the end of 2026.

They also discussed partnering with Penobscot County, which received $30 million.