The Huntington City Council approved the ordinance for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund expenditures.
The funds will be distributed to eight different categories. These categories and their estimated cost are:
• Addiction recovery and drug interdiction is estimated to cost $250,000. This will pay for various services and strategies to promote addiction recovery and restrict illegal drug trade in the city of Huntington.
Addiction recovery is critical to helping addicts recover relationships and responsibility which will prepare them for reentry to the workforce and community, according to the ordinance.
• Street paving and sidewalks is estimated to cost $450,000. This will allow the city to continue with major paving projects. It will also be able to create sidewalks in areas of the city where there are none to promote alternative transportation and safe pedestrian mobility.
• Utility projects are estimated to cost $924,692.66. Providing the appropriate public utilities in the area is critical for the city to promote residential opportunities, the ordinance read.
Additionally utility projects will attract new business enterprises within the city and encourage retention or expansion of existing business enterprises, it continued. Public investment may be required in certain properties and areas to address longstanding challenges with properties.
• The Huntington Police Department is estimated to use $87,000. The department is currently using outdated radio equipment that will need to be replaced as statewide communication networks upgrade.
• Downtown improvements are estimated to cost $1,290,000. The city has a long-term commitment to revitalize and retain the economic viability of the historic urban core of the city.
Downtown street rehabilitation will allow for pedestrian friendly streetscapes to be accessible for people of all ages and abilities, the ordinance said. The city will also make financial investments that support businesses and neighborhoods by attracting residents and visitors downtown.
• Parks, trails, Little River, and quality of life improvements are estimated to use $395,000. The city has determined that the development of new, and improvement of existing, parks, trails, and greenways is essential to promote significant opportunities for employment, attract major new business enterprises within the city, and to encourage retention or expansion of existing business enterprises.
The city will also consider projects designed to enhance the quality of life of its corporate and private citizens. This includes investing in tree planting, the removal of the low head dam from the Little River, and a connector trail tying the Parkview Huntington Hospital campus to the existing trail system.
• Brownfields are estimated to cost $400,000. The city has a significant interest in remediating brownfield sites such as HK Porter that are beyond the scope of private sector investments. Local dollars will be used to leverage additional state and federal grants to remediate onsite issues and demolish dilapidated and unsafe structures that are a public nuisance.
• Miscellaneous projects are still to be determined. Projects are presented to the city which, if pursued, would provide for economic development, promote significant opportunities to attract new residents within the city, and encourage retention of existing residents. The city intends to fund such projects when appropriate with the funds left over from other projects on this list.