10 Dec 23 165 0 0

A closer look at Vicksburg’s ARPA allocations for community organizations

Cool Story - A closer look at Vicksburg’s ARPA allocations for community organizations

The amount of American Recovery Plan Act monies allocated to the City of Vicksburg was $5.32 million. 

The money, also known as ARPA funds, was authorized by Congress in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and was intended to give state and local governments the chance to make strategic investments in long-lasting assets, build reserves to improve financial stability, and pay for temporary operating shortfalls until the economy and operations return to normal. 

Over two years, the federal funding was distributed to local and state governments. Vicksburg received two payments totaling $2.661 million each, which were distributed by two categories: community-based and non-profit organizations, and revenue restoration initiatives like tourism, infrastructure, and recovery projects. 

Of its $5.32 million budget as of Friday, the city had given $1.366 million to community and nonprofit organizations for a range of purposes, including tourism-related initiatives like local museums, tutoring and educational support, food distribution, community violence response, and housing aid.  "What we did was, we looked at the letter of the law and we executed, based on the letter of the law," stated Mayor George Flaggs Jr. But the main purpose of that money was to bring back strong income for the disadvantaged group and to restore revenues. 

Children are served by some of the programs that get city ARPA funding in underserved parts of the community. While some allocations were for one year, many allocations to the organizations were spread out over two years. 

A future piece will go into more detail on the city's expenditures on many other programs and projects, including revenue recovery projects like the Iowa Boulevard erosion repair project. 

The following requirements, which were discovered as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, can be satisfied using ARPA funding, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury:

·        In comparison to the income obtained in the most recent fiscal year before the emergency, the replacement of lost revenue will cover the cost of providing government services to the extent that it was reduced as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

·        COVID-19 expenses or adverse economic effects of COVID-19, including support to households, small enterprises, and industries that have been hard hit, as well as economic recovery. 

·        Premium compensation for necessary workers. 

·        Investing in broadband, sewage, and water infrastructure. 

The United Way of West Central Mississippi-Voyager Literacy Program received $266,000 in city ARPA funding, as did Cottage Homes of America, which received $100,000. When Cottage Homes was unable to uphold its end of the bargain, it returned the money. 

Each of the city's six museums received $20,833 in tourist-related funding, for a total of $125,298. 

While most of the recipients are education-related programs, City ARPA funding also benefits Positive Pathways Behavioral Health LLC, which received $20,000 for mental health services, Wildwood Community Association, which received $10,000 for community violence intervention, HIV services, which received $18,000 for medical services and expenses, Jackson Advocate, which received $3,000 for small business assistance, and the Warren County Children's Center, which received $5,000 for a healthy childhood environment. 

Due diligence in record-keeping is one of the requirements for using ARPA money, which means that after monies are allocated, the uses of those funds must be accurately and promptly reported to the County. Requests must be properly reviewed. In addition, grant allocations of $75,000 or more are subject to audits. 

"I can state unequivocally that every penny of the ARPA funds was used by the law. Everything we sent from our office was reviewed by the legal department. We referred it to the legal department for review, according to Flaggs. And each of those beneficiaries has a contract; for each person who received it, a contract agreement and an audit report should be there. 

The city has given the following groups ARPA funding: 

·        The Arch Group: $24,879.90 in aid for education (Kids R Coding; Kids Are Kids Daycare). 

·        $20,833.34 in tourism; Jacqueline House African American Museum. 

·        $20,833.34 in tourism; Catfish Row Museum. 

·        $20,833.34 in tourism; Vicksburg Civil War Museum. 

·        $20,833.34 in tourism; Vicksburg Civil War Museum. 

·        Coca-Cola Museum in Biedenharm: $20,833.34 from tourists. 

·        Vicksburg Transportation Museum (Old Depot): Tourism-related programs cost $20,833.34. 

·        20,000 dollars for mental health services from Positive Pathways Behavioral Health LLC.

·        Voyager Literacy Program of the United Way: $266,900 in aid for education. 

·        Excel 5 Program of the United Way: $2,500 for aid for schooling. 

·        $10,000 for community violence intervention from the Wildwood Community Association. 

·        Vicksburg's New Beginnings: $5,000 and a food program. 

·        $5,000, educational support; Children Education Station Daycare Learning Center. 

·        Sisters of Mercy Early Learning Center at Vicksburg Catholic School: $20,000.

·        $20,833.34 in tourism; Old Courthouse Museum. 

·        Early Learning Center at Crawford Street Play School: $10,000, financial aid for education. 

·        Prevention Services in Central Mississippi: $15,000; financial aid for education. 

·        Triumph Ministries Inc., doing business as Kings Empowerment Center: $20,000. 

·        $5,000 in tourism, provided by Carpe Diem Management LLC. 

·        Capital-rehab trolley & exhibition area for the city's 1900 horse-drawn fire wagon: $253,154.51, tourist Vicksburg Battlefield Museum (Old Depot). 

·        Faith Walker Learning Development: $5,000 in financial aid for schooling (GED/standardized exam classes).

·        Touch Inc., Youth enrichment program at 1100 Main St. for more than 50 kids ages 5 to 19: $10,000, financial aid for education. 

·        Performing Arts Academy Step by Step: $8,000 in financial aid for education.

·        $10,000 in educational aid from We Care Community Services Inc. 

·        Housing assistance: $20,000 given to Lifting Lives Ministries Inc. 

·        $ 20,000 in housing assistance goes to Mountain of Faith Ministries. 

·        $5,000, tourist Vicksburg Convention Center. 

·        Linda Sweezer Enterprises: $16,000 in aid for small businesses. 

·        Bright Minds Tutorial Services LLC: $7,500 in aid for schooling. 

·        $ 20,000 in mental health services from NuLife Healthcare LLC. 

·        HIV Services Inc.: $18,000 in healthcare costs/services.

·        Contract one of two with Good Foundations Tutoring Services: $5,000 in financial aid for education. 

·        Contract two of two with Good Foundations Tutoring Services: $2,500 in aid for schooling. 

·        $5,000 for educational services from Turner Speech & Language Services LLC. 

·        Tourism at the Vicksburg Convention Center is $13,300. 

·        $5,000 in medical services/expenses will go to the Center for Pregnancy Choices. 

·        $5,000 in educational support was given to the Omicron Rho Lambda Educational Foundation Inc. 

·        Education aid grant from the Medgar and Angela Scott Foundation: $30,000. 

·        Fuzzy Johnson Baseball League: $100, social and educational aid. 

·        James "Fuzzy" Johnson Foundation: $2,500 for socially-oriented educational help. 

·        Grant from Fateca for the Drive-to-Thrive Mentoring Program: $2,500 for academic support. 

·        Jackson Advocate: A grant of $3,000 for small businesses.

·        $10,000 in education aid was given to Jacob's Ladder Learning Center Inc. 

·        Empower YOUniversity on behalf of Good Shepherd Community Center: $8,400 in financial aid. 

·        The Travelers Rest Christian Academy will get $10,000 in aid for education. 

·        Triumph Church: $5,000 for college aid.  

·        a program of MS Children's Home Society dba Warren County Children's Center Canopy Children's Solutions: $5,000 in services for fostering children's healthy environments. 

·        $17,777 in tourism, JB Entertainment Group. 

·        National Alumni of Alcorn State University: $1,500. tourism. 

·        $2,000 was donated to a nonprofit organization by Rainbow Farms. 

·        Warren County Community Council: $10,500 in assistance to nonprofits.

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