FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Matt Maisel, Director of Communications, City of Harrisburg
June 14, 2022
HARRISBURG – City Council approved more than $15.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds at a legislative session on Tuesday night, the first portion of more than $42 million proposed by Harrisburg Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams.
By a unanimous vote of 7-0, Harrisburg City Council members agreed to the Mayor’s request for $5.5 million to go towards funding an emergency replacement of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit for the public safety building. Council also said yes to funding $5,000 one-time bonuses to eligible city firefighters and police officers. The bonuses, which total $1.26 million, will go to members of the Harrisburg Bureaus of Fire and Police employed by the city before the start of 2022.
“I want to sincerely thank City Council for passing Bill 7 tonight, which helps pay for much needed and deserved funds for our police officers and fire bureau leaders out of the American Rescue Plan. We will get to work immediately on making sure our public safety building has a fully functioning heating and cooling system,” Mayor Williams said in a statement. “Thank you also to Council for recognizing the life-saving work done by our firefighters and police officers over the last two years. The $5,000 bonuses we’ll now be able to give them is not only a ‘Thank you’ to them, but to their families. They put their lives on the line for us every day, and this is a small token of our appreciation.”
The remaining $8.8 million approved by Council on Tuesday will go towards revenue lost in 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This money was already accounted for in the 2022 budget, passed in February.
Mayor Williams has requested to use $42.46 million of more than $47 million allotted to the City of Harrisburg in American Rescue Plan funds, passed by Congress in March 2021. The remaining funds will require separate legislation and Council approval, which is expected to happen when Council returns from its summer recess.
Among the requests made by Mayor Williams include $8 million to go towards affordable housing, $8 million towards a new water and spray park to replace the aging Hall Manor Pool, and $5 million devoted to home repair grants. A full list of administration requests can be found on the city’s website page dedicated to American Rescue Plan funds.