The city of Petersburg is set to receive a $20 million boost to its budget thanks to the passage of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan by congressional Democrats, crucial money that Mayor Sam Parham says will be used to modernize city schools and deliver more vaccines, among other things.
The money is part of the $7.2 billion Virginia received as part of ARP, which continues to propel the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Virginia Democrats are now pushing for passage of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan that will help bring more funding to the commonwealth to expand broadband, invest in childcare, repair critical infrastructure, and much more.
See below from the Petersburg Progress-Index:
The city of Petersburg is slated to receive over $20 million from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, a segment of the American Rescue Plan.
Parham will also campaign to send some of the funds towards aiding vaccination and safety efforts within the city. Only 27% of residents in Petersburg are fully vaccinated, which is among some of the lowest in the state, according to state data.
"We needed a shot in the arm to really jumpstart a lot of the things in the city," said Parham.
The American Rescue Plan first became law in mid-March, nearing the year anniversary of the pandemic. The first wave of benefits was sent out to struggling taxpayers in the form of $1,400 stimulus checks. Other tasks include funding vaccination distribution efforts, public health data modernization, the reopening of schools and more.
As the city council decides the fate of the funding, Parham is confident that the city will ensure proper spending of the relief funds.
“It’s going to be very interesting to see the amount of change we have in Petersburg,” said Parham.