ALTON - Alton Mayor David Goins announced at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, July 24 that he will be holding future meetings to discuss the best ways to use remaining American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to address homelessness in the city.
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Mayor Goins said he’s “in the process of reaching out to various organizations and entities” that fall under the categories of affordable housing/homelessness, economic development/small business support, and youth development/learning/recovery programs.
“In all of these [categories] I’m reaching out to various entities,” Mayor Goins said. “In regards to affordable housing and homelessness, reaching out to many entities because the best way we’ve figured out how to do this is just to bring the various stakeholders … and to sit down and come up with a plan on how best to utilize this ARPA funding, basically get the most bang for our buck.”
Mayor Goins added that the overall goal is to not only remedy current homelessness, but also prevent future homelessness in collaboration with the Department of Planning and Zoning.
“It’s early in the infancy stages, but we’re looking at … ways to stop homelessness, so to speak,” Mayor Goins said. “We can focus on our residents who actually are owner-occupied and support them in regards to the various things that end up making them homeless, and so that’s another initiative - not just addressing the homelessness, but also trying to prevent future homelessness in our community”
He said he’s seeking the input of small businesses, organizations, and more as the city looks for solutions and ideas for “the most effective means of spending this ARPA money.”
“We’re just beginning to collaborate and we’re going to be, in the very near future, setting up meetings … and to begin to collaborate, and hopefully I can have a report at a later date with the progress of where we’re going,” he said.
Later in the meeting, Alderman John Meehan said constituents have been reaching out to him about certain historic houses slated for demolition. Meehan asked if there was a formal process a citizen could go through if they wanted to buy a house slated for demolition to remodel or renovate it. While the answer depends on whether or not the address is city-owned property, residents are advised to contact the city’s Building and Zoning Department or the Department of Planning and Development.
In related news, the City Council approved the following bids for property demolitions:
A full recording of the July 24 meeting can be watched at the top of this story or on the Riverbender.com Facebook page.
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