Federal funds to finance housing construction, employee bonuses in the city of South Boston | City of South Boston

South Boston City Council at its session on Monday evening consolidated plans for the $ 3,936,338 American Rescue Plan Act funding that the city has received.

A multi-year housing project in Westside is in the works, and just in time for Christmas, city workers are receiving a bonus for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city will use the majority of its ARPA funding – $ 3,336,338 – on a Westside housing project that will destroy the trailers at Westside Trailer Park and build new homes.

“We’re all really excited about what we’re going to be doing here in this church. When we met with residents, we could see the hope and excitement for this project, ”said Petrina Carter, executive director of the Tri-County Community Action Agency. “We want to work with the city to buy the land, build the infrastructure there and get rid of all the houses and caravans. Part of the land will be rental apartments, the other part will be houses for sale. “

Along with the city’s ARPA funding, Tri-County plans to allocate a portion of the $ 2.5 million grant it recently received from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Day One Fund to the Westside Project use. Carter announced that the project will be a collaboration between the Tri-County Community Action Agency, the City of South Boston, the Southside Outreach Group and Habitat for Humanity. Former South Boston city manager Ted Daniel also supports the project.

“It will be a joint effort. It is not a job for any agency or just the city; it is up to all of us to come together to make sure that all of our citizens can live prosperous lives, ”Carter said.

The city council has held several discussions over the past few months about the living conditions of the residents and problems in the Westside Trailer Park. Wayne Stevens of Chaparral Investments is the current owner of the property.

While the Westside Project will require the majority of the city’s ARPA funding, the city plans to use a much smaller portion of the funding – $ 207,000 – immediately on bonuses for the city employees.

Every member of the fire department, police force, and public utility receives a bonus of $ 3,000. The city’s other employees, including part-time workers who work an average of 20 hours or more per week, will receive a $ 1,500 bonus.

At its meeting on Monday, the council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing city manager Tom Raab to allocate the funds for the bonuses. Vice Mayor Bob Hughes motioned for the resolution to be approved, and Councilor Bill Snead supported the motion.

Raab told the council that workers would receive their bonuses before Christmas, adding that he believed the bonuses were paid due to the essential work that the employees did, particularly members of the police, fire brigade and public Labor administration, at a time when others were well deserved to be able to stay at home.

The council also unanimously approved a resolution amending the city’s current fiscal year to increase the ARPA budget of 3.94 million. The budget change increases the general fund’s income and expenses to $ 15,521,583.

Councilor Winston Harrell motioned to approve the budget change and Councilor Sharon Harris supported the motion. The lawsuit was followed by a public hearing on the budget change, at which no one spoke.

In other matters and business matters of the meeting, advice:

• Modification of an ordinance to postpone the mayoral election from May to November;

• Approved a resolution in honor of Cathy Rice after retiring from South Boston Speedway. Rice retired from speedway this year after a 34-year career. She was promoted to general manager of South Boston Speedway in 2000, making her only the second woman to receive the honor on a NASCAR-approved speedway.

• Received a summary of city spending on Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) for 2020-2021. The city used the bulk of the $ 1,328,250 – $ 520,352 – funding to purchase a new garbage truck and trash cans for every resident in the city.

• Heard from Hope Harris-Gayles, of the Henrietta Lacks Statue Committee, about the committee’s plans to erect a statue in honor of the legacy of Henrietta Lacks in Halifax County. Born in 1951, Clover died of cervical cancer, but she left a legacy with her HeLa cells, the first human cell line to live outside the human body. Lack’s Hela cells were mainly used for the development of the polio vaccine.

• Heard a report on the city’s finances in October from Mickey Wilkerson, the city’s director of finances.

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