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Kincannon proposes using $35 million towards various community projects, frontline workers

The majority of the funds come from the American Rescue Plan Act.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Mayor Indya Kincannon has announced a proposal that would invest over $35 million dollars into various projects around Knoxville. 

$21 million of the total $35 million comes from the American Rescue Plan Act— A relief package signed by President Biden in March 2021 to help aid in economic recovery caused by the pandemic. 

$13 million is available through a Federal Transit Authority grant. These FTA funds allow the city to re-allocate the $13 million into local funds that had been previously earmarked for transit. 

The remaining $803,000 dollars come from locally-funded appropriations from the City’s General Fund to address mid-year needs.

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The different projects are intended to "stimulate economic and community development, enhance public safety and support first responders, fund infrastructure and park amenities, and boost social services and arts organizations." 

"Cities rightfully switched priorities during the pandemic to help families and individuals in need. Now, with this federal funding, we can also get back in full stride, investing strategically in things like roads, sidewalks and stormwater upgrades," Kincannon said in the release. 

Some officials said additional funds for frontline workers could also help lift the spirits of people who work for the city.

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Some of the highlights of the proposed allocation are: 

  • $1 million for non-congregate shelter and permanent supportive housing for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness; the plan is to convert a hotel building into individual supportive housing units, where residents will have access to social workers and services
  • $550,753 for additional COVID-19 mitigation, including a specialized ambulance and further workplace safety accommodations in the City County Building and other City facilities
  • $5 million to Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) for water system projects, such as replacing older galvanized water pipes at locations across the city
  • $3.5 million for City stormwater projects
  • $150,000 for design of a Real Time Crime Center at the Public Safety Complex, a proven practice to help the Police Department more effectively respond to and address violent crime and other public safety matters
  • $2.58 million in “hero pay” to front-line City employees – premium pay that supports retention of police and fire employees, as well as other general government employees with direct exposure risk during the pandemic
  • $3 million for street resurfacing; with the cost of asphalt rising, the City’s $7.3 million already budgeted for paving wasn’t going to stretch far enough to address all the 2021-22 scheduled projects
  • $500,000 for signal poles on Gay Street
  • $100,000 for paving alleys and greenways
  • $1 million for neighborhood traffic calming: One of the City’s most popular programs, with 58 neighborhoods currently in the process of preparing or finalizing project proposals, the big increase in funding is intended to support improvements in an unprecedented number of neighborhoods compared to previous program years
  • $2 million to support frontline and public safety workers
  • 300,000 for new KAT bus shelters; KAT has applied for a state grant that, if awarded, would boost total funding for new bus shelters to $1.2 million

For more information on the Mayor's proposal, visit knoxvilletn.gov/arpa

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