Concord using federal funding for community projects
CONCORD, CA (Feb. 21, 2023) — It was my pleasure to deliver the annual State of the City address to our community on Feb. 1. Thank you to the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce for coordinating the event, to the Hilton for hosting, and to the many businesspeople and residents who attended. We had a great turnout.
The City Council recently moved forward with determining how to best utilize federal grant programs, including American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding that all cities received nationwide. Concord was fortunate to get $27 million in one-time ARPA funds that we are investing in major priorities identified by our community and city staff.
Following community outreach efforts that included surveys, community meetings and correspondence, the council received the feedback and recommendations and then created an ad hoc committee to recommend specific allocations, which included: $7 million for city projects, infrastructure, public safety and special events; $7 million to support nonprofit organizations via a grant program; $3 million to address the unhoused; and $2 million to support small businesses via a grant program. Our first investment of $8 million was immediately put to use in late 2021 and early 2022 into pandemic-related recovery efforts.
At our Feb. 7 council meeting, my colleagues and I considered staff’s recommendations for the $7 million that will be invested into city projects, infrastructure, public safety and special events, and approved the following:
In partnership with the Todos Santos Business Association, we will launch a pilot program in public areas around downtown for enhanced janitorial services, pressure washing and private security. Some of the funding will also be used to enhance the cleanliness, safety and security of our two public parking garages, which includes new LED lights and security cameras to prevent and minimize vandalism.
Cameras and lighting will also be added to the Public Works Corp. Yard and several recreation facilities throughout the city. To help keep our downtown area clean, we’ll be installing covered trash and recycling receptacles with increased capacity and the ability to reduce wind-blown materials.
At Camp Concord in South Lake Tahoe – a destination for young campers, families and organizations – we will improve Internet accessibility for staff and customers by expanding Wi-Fi capabilities.
For continued safety and accountability, the Police Department will upgrade its technology tools, including body-worn cameras, fleet cameras, interview room cameras and the software they require. In addition, the department will replace its 30-year-old van that is used for rescuing injured or at-risk people or officers during emergency situations.
Other important investments include construction of the Meadow Lane and Market Street paving project, which will feature bike lanes and safe crosswalks, and a stormwater green infrastructure cleaning project at the city’s Civic Center.
Special event funding will support our annual 4th of July festivities, Music and Market summer concert series, and the 50th anniversary celebration with our sister city, Kitakami, Japan. All of these events and activities are partnerships with other organizations, which work hard to bring these events to our city. It is a joy to be able to host these events in Concord, and I’m so glad we can support them in this way.
These federal dollars were intended to help communities recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic, including the lost revenues and economic hardships incurred by local governments, small businesses, nonprofits and individuals. I look forward to announcing details about how the remaining funds will be allocated over the next few months.
Direct your questions and comments to the mayor at 925-671-3158 or Laura.Hoffmeister@cityofconcord.org.