Medford releases ARPA survey results, to fund parks, housing, etc.

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MEDFORD, MA — The City of Medford has closed its investigation into the U.S. bailout and will present the results at a virtual community meeting via zoom Nov. 9 at 6 p.m., Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn said Monday.

When President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in March 2021, Medford received nearly $50 million in federal stimulus funds over a four-year period. Funding should be allocated to eligible programs and resources impacted by the pandemic.

After allocating a percentage to existing fiscal needs — such as more than $20 million for income replacement and the needs described by city staff who work every day to help those hardest hit by COVID-19 — a A portion of the remaining over $20 million will be invested directly in community projects, programs and initiatives as well as water and sewer infrastructure, open space needs, and more.

“The data we received from this survey will help inform our future project investments and allow us to better understand where there are unmet needs in our community,” Lungo-Koehn said in a statement. “While the projects we have already allocated funds to closely align with the wishes of our residents, we now have additional information from the public that will allow us to better shape our strategy to closely align with their priorities.”

The survey, launched in July, was distributed in multiple languages ​​and aimed to gather community feedback and priorities on how best to allocate some of the remaining ARPA funding.

Respondents came from a wide range of backgrounds and demographics – constituting varying levels of income, education and housing – and highlighted several areas of interest for the City to invest funds.

According to the data, the top three eligible areas where the city should allocate ARPA funding are:

  • Water/Sewer/Street Improvements – 64.2%
  • Improvements to outdoor green spaces and parks — 61.5%
  • Investment in social services (housing services, food aid, mental health services, child care) – 60.3%

These results closely reflect the city’s ARPA strategy priorities and to date, Lungo-Koehn said. About 80 projects have been approved that fulfill these spending areas.

Here is a list of projects currently underway or approved at Medford:

  • Public health
    • Rapid COVID-19 tests
    • Multilingual kiosk payment system
    • Water supply stations installed in our schools
    • Rodent Public Health Program
    • Voting booth improvements
  • Negative economic impact
    • Tufts Pool Deck Renovation
    • One-month free trial subscriptions to Bluebikes for low-income residents
    • McGlynn Playground Redesign
    • Support for Community Memorial Gardens at MPS
    • Improvements to the parking meter in Medford Square
  • Public sector workforce
    • Administrative support within the board of health
    • Community social worker
    • Board of Health 5 Multilingual Community Liaisons Project
    • Health Equity and Outreach Coordinator
    • Translation services for communications
    • Economic Development Planner
  • Infrastructure
    • Sewer Liner Improvements
    • Centralized Wastewater Treatment Projects on Main Street and Mystic Avenue
    • DPW water meter system
    • Flood mitigation projects
    • Lead Discount Program
    • Water/Sewer/Street Improvements on Pinkert Street

Residents will receive a fuller overview of current and future plans, as well as a detailed breakdown of data compiled from the ARPA survey, at the Nov. 9 meeting. For more information, including zoom information, visit medfordma.org/arpa.

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