Moscow wants to spend federal funds on businesses and non-profit organizations | Local
Moscow City Council plans to spend $ 750,000 on the American Rescue Act plan to help local small businesses and nonprofits.
The rest of the COVID-19 relief funds will likely go to a program for affordable housing, rainwater improvements, and water infrastructure projects.
The city council held a workshop Monday to discuss how to spend the more than $ 5.5 million that the federal government is allocating to the city in the form of ARPA funds.
Moscow received the first half of this money in June and will receive the second half in the summer of 2022.
Councilor Gary Riedner said the city had until the end of 2024 to commit the money to specific projects and spend until the end of 2026.
City officials suggested spending $ 300,000 of that money on a program to help small businesses and nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. While discussing the matter, Councilors Brandy Sullivan and Sandra Kelly said more money was needed as nonprofits and corporations were directly affected by the pandemic. The rest of the council agreed to increase this allocation to $ 750,000.
The vast majority of ARPA funds – about $ 3.6 million – will be spent on building aqueducts in the city, including downtown.
The city plans to spend $ 1 million on rainwater infrastructure.
Moscow proposes spending $ 150,000 to set up an affordable housing program.
The Moscow Public Works Finance Committee also met on Monday and recommended that the city council move ahead with a project to install two charging stations for electric vehicles in the South Jackson Street parking lot.
The charging stations would be funded by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality through a grant program for five years. The program is financed with funds from the Volkswagen emissions regulation.
The charging stations would be next to the public toilet downtown in the South Jackson parking lot. The state prioritizes locations next to a motorway as well as shopping and restaurant centers.
If the city council agrees, Moscow would launch a call for proposals from companies interested in the provision, installation and maintenance of the facility for the required 5 year period. Deputy City Councilor Bill Belknap said the charging stations could be installed next summer or fall, if Moscow receives the grant.
The stations could charge a dead battery in a vehicle to 80 percent in 15-45 minutes, depending on the vehicle, Belknap said. The stations would likely have a charging speed of 100 kilowatts. Tesla owners would need an adapter to use the stations.
He said Moscow may need to change its city code to quote non-electric vehicles parked in the parking lots. He also said that many stations charge people for “idle time” after their vehicle is fully charged to prevent people from leaving their cars plugged in for long periods of time.
Moscow’s management committee on Monday recommended that city council approve an agreement to lease the tennis courts in Ghormley Park to Moscow’s school district for recreational use. The area would be open to West Park Elementary School students during school hours and to the public after school hours. The district offered to share the cost of renovating the courts last summer, a project that cost $ 25,000.
The committee also recommended that the city approve a 10-year contract to lease the center to Heart of the Arts, Inc. from 1912, which can later be extended to 30 years.