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More than $4.3 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act will go toward 16 projects

PMG FILE RENDERING - The Chehalem Cultural Center will be the recipient of $250,000 toward transforming the former Central School's auditorium into a 250-seat, 9,200-square-foot community performing arts wing with an adjacent movement studio.

The city of Newberg revealed a revised list last week of projects, businesses and groups that will receive funds via the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

The city's budget committee previously designated about a half-dozen recipients of the more than $5.3 million in ARPA funds bequeathed to the city. That list has since grown to 16 projects that will divvy up the lion's share of that allocation, roughly $4.3 million.

City staff, according to a release, have worked internally and with local community groups and businesses to identify projects and "opportunities to improve the community."

"I think it was a smashing result for our community," Interim City Manager Will Worthey said. "While many cities used the ARPA funds only for city projects, we acted in accordance with our belief that ARPA was to bolster economic recovery widely. On this point, the mayor and council were of one mind. I am delighted to show the naysayers the good that local government can do."

The budget committee will meet at month's end to determine the fate of the remaining $900,000 in ARPA funds, which must be spent by 2024. Twenty projects have been submitted for consideration, most from local businesses and community organizations. Under federal guidelines, the funds may be used for a wide variety of undertakings, including infrastructure development and other capital projects.

The city previously identified a half-dozen recipients of the funds, including a total of more than $2.15 million to the city itself for updates to its dated financial software, computers, technology and enhanced tech security; nearly $281,000 to update the city's air purification units in 14 locations and replace HVAC units in City Hall; $40,800 to install bullet-resistant windows in the records area at the Public Safety Building and $1.5 million to purchase water rights as part of the city's effort to create redundancy in its system. An additional $24,343 will go to the Newberg Downtown Coalition (NDC) to launch a downtown gift card program and $29,176 is destined for Taste Newberg and the NDC to create an online marketing resource and itinerary visitor planning tool.

Newly added to the mix is $350,000 to Yamhill Community Action Partnership (YCAP) to address homelessness in the county, including $200,000 to support six months of operations at the Navigation Center, currently under construction, and $150,000 to provide beds at motels in the Newberg area.

Along the same line, Harvest House in Newberg will receive $350,000 to allow the shelter to continue to operate and expand its services in a stable fashion.

"This includes the continuation of current staffing and expansion to case management services, support for single mothers with kids and domestic violence victims, shelter care, training and education, and the prescription fund," the release said.

The Chehalem Cultural Center will be the recipient of $250,000 toward transforming the former Central School's auditorium into a 250-seat, 9,200-square-foot community performing arts wing with an adjacent movement studio.

The NDC will also receive $15,000 in ARPA funds to pay for construction of so-called "sculpture landing pads" that will house rotating sculpture projects in the community.

Lutheran Community Services Northwest will receive $400,000 toward expansion of A Family Place facilities adjacent to Edwards Elementary School and school district headquarters near the intersection of South School and East Sixth streets.

"(The funds will) extend LCSNW's comprehensive array of services in two existing, connected modular buildings owned by the school district. …," the release said. "This facility, centered in one of Newberg's most stressed neighborhoods, will have the capacity to provide critical wraparound child abuse prevention services to over 300 children and their families."

The sole business so far to receive ARPA funding is Social Goods, which will get $34,500 to construct street seating adjacent to the restaurant at the corner of First and Howard streets.

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