City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. on Tuesday will outline for the City Council his plan to start spending the city’s $111 million allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds for COVID-19 relief.
In a report to the council, Augustus outlined $54 million in initial spending of the funds, half of which the city has already received. The other half will come to the city in about a year.
Augustus said $28 million — roughly 25% of the city’s total allocation — will be funneled over the next three years to community-based initiatives, including the Worcester Housing Authority, the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, lead remediation efforts and other affordable housing projects, local business grants and marketing funding, creative economy initiatives, and food security programs such as the proposed Food Hub.
Augustus, in an interview Friday, said expanding lead abatement efforts will create more affordable housing opportunities for young families. And he said part of the money will fund the construction of an “empowerment center” at Great Brook Valley in conjunction with the housing authority.
The effort will double the size of the Worcester Public Library branch there and will include job training.
Public health-related initiatives will be allotted $2.7 million in the initial phase of spending the money, Augustus said. He said it will be used for important purchases and programs such as mental health services, supporting the city’s Division of Public Health,…