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Reading wants public input on how to spend American Rescue Plan money

Reading wants to hear from the public how to spend the $61 million it will receive from the American Rescue Plan.

The city will hold a second interactive public forum for residents to weigh in on how Reading should spend the federal dollars.

The forum will be held Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. in the gym at the Children’s Home of Reading Cardy Day Academy, 1040 Nicolls St.

The event will begin with a presentation on how the rescue plan money can be spent.

After the presentation, members of the public will be able pitch ideas to city officials before the event wraps up with a group discussion.

A similar event was held a few months ago at Centro Hispano.

The city must come up with a spending plan for the funds by Dec. 31, 2024, and spend the money by Dec. 31, 2026.

Mayor Eddie Moran’s administration has sketched out a plan to spend $41 million of the funds.

That plan caught City Council off-guard in October, especially after council made it known they wanted to have oversight on how the funds would be spent.

The proposed spending breaks down like this:

  • $3 million to the Berks County Convention Center Authority.

  • $3 million to the Reading Fightin Phils.

  • $500,000 for a neighborhood initiatives program that includes funding a coordinator for three years.

  • $3 million for arts, culture and music community-based organizations.

  • $2 million for a commercial façade matching grant program for small businesses.

  • $50,000 to the Berks History Center.

  • $100,000 to the PA Americana visitors bureau.

  • $250,000 to the Reading Area Firefighters Museum.

  • $5.5 million for housing for displaced residents.

  • $4 million for a residential façade program for single-family homes.

  • $3 million for a blight remediation program.

  • $4 million for the Ninth and Marion Fire Station project.

  • $3 million for City Hall heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

  • $1.3 million for apparatus replacements.

  • $2 million for the recreation commission facilities.

  • $3 million for dam remediation.

  • $3 million for City Park upgrades.

  • $2 million for sidewalk repair.

  • $500,000 for an all abilities park and dog park.

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