The Town of Carrboro recently approved a spending plan for the $6.7 million it received from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act passed by the U.S. Congress.
The act allocates money to local governments nationwide to assist in mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carrboro Mayor Pro Tempore Susan Romaine said the pandemic impacted Carrboro in many ways, including reducing the hours that people could work and decreasing sales tax revenue for the Town.
She said small and independent businesses were disproportionately affected.
“Carrboro was like cities and towns all over the country that were hit very hard by the pandemic,” Romaine said.
Carrboro Town Council member Eliazar Posada said the Town Council decided how to allocate the funding with help from recommendations that the Town staff and the Town Manager provided.
Although all members of the Carrboro Town Council support initiatives surrounding affordable housing and helping businesses, the Town Council had to make compromises when deciding how to allocate funds, according to Posada.
He said some members advocated for bike lanes and walkways, while others emphasized funding small environmental projects. He added that he was most supportive of housing and mental health services.
The funding will focus on issues that became more pressing during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes assistance for small businesses and improvements to parks, public safety and affordable housing.