Today, Mayor Greg Verga announced the creation of the Covid Local Recovery Funds Listening Group that will be charged with convening several listening posts to engage residents, local organizations, and businesses on this federal funding opportunity. The panel will solicit public input on potential uses of local funds resulting from the passage of last year’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Under ARPA’s local funding provisions, Gloucester’s allocation totals approximately $23 million.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime funding opportunity, and I want to ensure our residents have a voice in the process,” said Mayor Greg Verga. “We want to use this funding on projects that will do the most good for the most people over the most time.”
The group will work closely with Gloucester’s City Councilors to invite and engage their constituents to participate in these discussions. Gloucester residents, organizations, and businesses are invited to attend all listening posts. This collaborative effort will encourage an active and respectful outlet for our residents to provide feedback and input.
“The impact of Covid-19 has been felt by virtually every household, every business, and every non-profit organization. Government at all levels has played a critical role in providing resources for a post-pandemic economic recovery. Gloucester is fortunate that it has been allocated local funds to address negative economic impacts and mitigate health and public safety impacts. Funds are also available to invest in ‘vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.’ The Verga Administration strongly encourages public input and panel members look forward to receiving comments and providing a report on interests and opportunities,” said Carl Gustin, who will chair the panel.
Following the sessions, the Listening Group will synthesize their findings from the public and build recommendations to report back to the City’s administration. The sessions will be held in a hybrid format, with the public joining remotely. Information to access the listening posts will be available on the City website: https://arpa.gloucester-ma.gov/
To learn more about the Covid Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, please visit: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/coronavirus/assistance-for-state-local-and-tribal-governments/state-and-local-fiscal-recovery-funds
● Carl Gustin, Chair
● Tony Gross, Councilor-at-Large
● Kelly Brancaleone, Member, Capital Improvement Advisory Board
● Joel Favazza, Member, Capital Improvement Advisory Board
● Paul Romary, Member, Capital Improvement Advisory Board
● Tom Balf, Member, Gloucester Economic Development and Industrial Corporation
● Jerrold Oppenheim, Member, Gloucester Economic Development and Industrial Corporation
● Gretel Steeley, Resident, Gloucester Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (pending appointment)
Initial Schedule for Covid Local Recovery Funds Listening Posts:
● Tuesday, May 17th at 6:00pm
● Wednesday, May 25th at 6:00pm
● Tuesday, May 31st at 6:00pm
● Monday, June 6th at 6:00pm
● Thursday, June 16th at 6:00pm
About The City of Gloucester, Massachusetts
America’s oldest seaport, the City of Gloucester is known throughout the world as an authentic, working waterfront community, a place of spectacular natural beauty, and home to a diverse population of approximately 30,000 residents. Its sharp focus on economic development has helped build its reputation as the ideal location to live, work, and play. An important center for the fishing industry, Gloucester is also proud of its vibrant cultural life and rich art heritage. Gloucester is a destination for thousands of visitors who visit the harbor and its beaches during the summer months. The City will be celebrating its 400th Anniversary in 2023. For more information, please visit www.gloucester-ma.gov.