Lancaster City Council awards millions to invest in community

A $5 million allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to invest in community facilities serving Lancaster City residents has been approved by the Lancaster City Council. 

The investment in 11 projects is aimed at supporting public programs, improving quality of life and public health, creating economic opportunity, and promoting equitable outcomes for residents.    

Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace called the investment an opportunity to make transformational investments in our community facilities that will enhance the quality of life for all residents.

“By leveraging ARPA funds to support these projects, we can create modern, accessible, and inclusive spaces that reflect our values and goals,” Sorace said in a statement.  

Following is a list of the allocations:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster - $600,000 to make improvements to their clubhouse spaces. 
  • Bright Side Opportunities Corporation – $500,000 to renovate existing facility. 
  • Church World Service - $250,000 to create a welcome center for refugees. 
  • Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County - $400,000 to renovate Bridge House and Crispus Attucks Center. 
  • Lancaster Public Library - $500,000 for new library construction costs. 
  • Lancaster Recreation Commission - $750,000 for facility expansion to serve recreational and childcare needs. 
  • SACA Development Corporation (Centro Hispano) - $500,000 for renovations to the Hispanic Community Center to provide human services. 
  • SACA Development Corporation (Tec Centro) - $500,000 for renovations to existing facility to provide vocational technical training. 
  • South Ann Concerned Neighbors - $250,000 to build a community hub that will include one affordable housing unit. 
  • Union Community Care - $500,000 to renovate and expand existing facility to create a dental clinic. 
  • Uni-Vision Childcare - $250,000 to renovate existing facility to expand Spanish Immersion Center for early education.

In 2021, $39.5 million in ARPA funding was allotted to the City of Lancaster. Also in 2021, a public engagement process regarding the use of ARPA funds was launched. An interest in improved community services in public health, youth support, parks, and recreation were identified via feed from the community.

In 2022, a $7.4 million allocation of ARPA funds to create and preserve affordable housing was approved by Lancaster City Council.

New round of trail tourism grants available in York County  

The next round of Bloom grants to promote trail tourism in seven York County Trail Towns is now open. 

In June 2020, the York County Economic Alliance launched the trail towns program in five communities along the York County Heritage Rail Trail: York, Seven Valleys, Glen Rock, Railroad and New Freedom. The next year, Hanover and Wrightsville were added. 

The program is focused on increasing trail tourism and supporting and encouraging businesses that provide services and amenities to the nearly 500,000 trail users who pass through these communities annually. 

This round of Bloom grants will allocate $30,000, with grants up to $3,000 available for projects related to outdoor recreational users and/or to make the business more trail user-friendly, according to a release. 

Examples include improved marketing and promotions targeted at recreational users; expanding inventory; physical improvements; and the addition of bike-friendly amenities. 

For-profit enterprises are the intended beneficiary of the grants, but nonprofit organizations providing a specific service to outdoor recreational users may be eligible to apply. Nonprofits should contact the York County Economic Alliance first. 

Businesses that have not received previous Bloom grant funding will be prioritized, along with Black, Indigenous and people of color-owned businesses. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. March 7.