Fairborn seeking resident ideas for use of $6.8 million in ARPA funds

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

An in-person forum is planned for 6 p.m. Feb. 22 at Fairborn Primary School.

City government is expanding opportunities for public feedback in order to garner project ideas for Fairborn’s over $6 million in American Rescue Plan Act money.

During a virtual town hall last week, Fairborn officials broke down how the city has spent its stimulus money so far. Fairborn already has been audited for its first round of stimulus dollars, and “passed with flying colors,” City Manager Rob Anderson said.

Fairborn received $2.8 million in CARES Act money, $2.3 million of which went to cover first responder payroll. Most of the rest was used on public health measures, personal protective equipment, technology for remote work and learning, and economic support.

The remainder went toward nonprofit assistance grants, including $33,500 to Michael’s House, a nonprofit that houses and supports abused children. Other recipients include Roads to Recovery, which helps families and children with autism, Mary Help of Christians Church and the Fairborn Chamber of Commerce.

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Fairborn received the largest bucket of ARPA dollars from the federal government of Greene County’s cities, at $6.8 million. So far the money has gone towards helping residents and businesses with rent and mortgage assistance, small business grants and assistance to nonprofits.

In November, the city also used $15,000 of its ARPA dollars to commission a mural on the west exterior wall of the downtown library, replacing lost revenue in the general fund that would have gone towards the project.

Fairborn’s online survey asking residents for input is available on the city website, and residents can also email questions and project ideas to info@fairbornoh.gov.

The city is planning on three additional in-person forums, the first of which is planned for 6 p.m. Feb. 22 at Fairborn Primary School, 63 W. Funderburg Road.

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Anderson said the city isn’t ready for people to apply for funding, but is actively looking for projects with two main criteria: first, efforts that would be a one-time expense and not involve ongoing expenditures on the part of the city or any other organizations, and second, things that will benefit the greatest amount of people.

Mayor Paul Keller said the city has already had a few inquiries about ARPA money from residents.

“We hear you and we want to keep hearing more from you,” Keller said.

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