According to a media statement from the City of Pittsfield and the Mayor's Office, the city has released its American Rescue Plan Act Community Survey and dates for four community forums to gather public input on the recommended usage of ARPA funding provided to Pittsfield.

The city will receive about $32.4 million in ARPA funding over the next two years. Mayor Linda Tyer had this to say in the statement:

We are pleased to release this important community survey and we look forward to receiving feedback from the public. We’ve spent a lot of time learning about this process and we want the community to know that their thoughts are vital to this process. Additionally, I look forward to the in-person community forums as they’re another meaningful way for people to stay engaged.

ARPA funding can be used to:

  • respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency;
  • address the negative economic impacts the community has experienced as a result of COVID-19;
  • provide assistance in disproportionately impacted neighborhoods (for Pittsfield this is defined as the Morningside and Westside neighborhoods);
  • provide premium pay to low-income employees who are doing or did essential work – working in businesses considered high risk, worked with the public, and/or distributed goods - during the COVID-19 public health emergency;
  • offset reductions in local government revenue due to COVID-19;
  • invest in water and/or sewer infrastructure; and
  • invest in broadband infrastructure.

The survey, which is available in English and Spanish, will allow users to rank their preferences related to the aforementioned guidelines. The link to the English version is available here. Click here for the Spanish link.

Additionally, both forms can be directly accessed on the city’s website by clicking the American Rescue Plan Act link on the homepage. The deadline for survey submissions is 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1.

The community forums, which are organized around four categories, include the following:

Public Health and Human Services: 6 p.m. Aug. 16, cafeteria, Conte Community School, 200 West Union St.

Economic Recovery: 1 p.m. Aug.18, Berkshire Innovation Center, 45 Woodlawn Ave.

Housing and Neighborhoods: 6 p.m. Aug. 23, cafeteria, Morningside Community School, 100 Burbank St.

Cultural Organizations: 11 a.m. Aug. 25, Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renee Ave.

ARPA funding cannot be used for tax reductions or cuts; pension fund payments and deposits; legal settlements; to meet federal grant match requirements; and roads and bridges.

As a note, the Treasury Department and the Massachusetts departments of Revenue and Administration and Finance have, and will continue to, provide guidance and will monitor municipal use of and reporting about these funds.

For more information please visit the city's website here.

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