Rep. Marty Wilde on Tuesday announced his spending requests for the federal American Rescue Plan Act will go toward helping communities recover from COVID-19 repercussions in the county, including requests for an expansion of Creswell broadband and a unhoused shelter in Glenwood.
Each state legislator gets $2 million of a federally-funded $1.9 trillion stimulus to support their communities. Wilde said he determined his requests by prioritizing basic needs and investing in city-identified priorities.
Wilde made spending requests for $80,000 to be used for Creswell broadband; $250,000 for sheltering people with health vulnerabilities in Glenwood; $300,000 for Food for Lane County; $500,000 for career and technical education at Lane Community College; $785,000 for City of shelter and land acquisition in Eugene; and $85,000 for a food bank in Linn County.
The City of Creswell asked for money to bring broadband service across the freeway to the east side of town and to the water treatment plant. City manager Michelle Amberg said that she is grateful that the funding “will provide the east side with competitive pricing and will greatly enhance water treatment plant functioning,” which is currently operational only on dial-up internet service.
“Not only does it help the City out, but this helps all those folks that live out in that direction,” Wilde said.
The City also requested street improvements on Oregon Avenue, but Wilde said the $2 million Oregon Avenue paving project was too steep to account for this round, though he hopes to fulfill the City’s request in the future.
“I’m hopeful that – either through the statewide funding piece, or this next infrastructure bill being discussed at the federal level – we might be able to find some funding for the repaving of Oregon Avenue,” Wilde said.
In Glenwood, Wilde requested that money be provided a shelter for people who are unhoused with special needs. The project would include repurposing the Shelter Care Safe Haven building at 1545 Brooklyn St.
“I want to make sure we were doing things to help people through the pandemic and to also help them succeed in doing it,” he said.
Wilde said he is confident the money will be approved, but “It’s never done until the governor signs it. The requests fit squarely within the priorities that were established by the federal government,” Wilde said.
Once approved, the money will be available “pretty quickly,” and projects would need to be completed within two or three years under federal guidelines.