The Mayor and City Council of Cumberland have released the plan for the City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and have focused on some significant community programs that will provide improved services to the residents in the Cumberland area.
The following programs or projects are just some of the initiatives which will be receiving funding:
-Jane’s Place for Abused Children - Child abuse has been exacerbated by the pandemic and available funding is decreasing. This ARPA funding will enable the addition of an intervention counselor, increase transportation funding, and bring 100 prevention trainings called, "Stewards of Children" to the City of Cumberland and Allegany County. Jane’s Place staff will become certified facilitators and bring the workshops to Cumberland. The funds will provide financial assistance for transportation related to the investigation and prosecution of their case, medical and mental health services, clothing and home security to families with children who are suspected of having suffered abuse.
-Affordable Housing Assistance - This program will provide a 50% matching grant, up to $25K, towards the rehab of blighted properties around the City of Cumberland. The property owner will be responsible for obtaining all required permits from the City and must complete the work within the required time frame. This program is expected to increase the availability of affordable housing in the City while reducing blighted properties.
-Community Development Property Improvement Program - Housing conditions in Cumberland need improvement and the pandemic accelerated this issue. To help prevent blight before it starts, Community Development staff created a program designed to address housing unit deficiencies in Cumberland over the next three years. The program will assist low to moderate income households who own their own homes with property improvement projects such as a new roof. Once the program is developed with policy/procedure and proven efficiency, funds from the Community Development Block Grant program will continue the grants according to the number possible each year and funding availability.
-Union Rescue Mission - Our local mission has been severely affected due to the rise of unemployment and homelessness. Their current facility is at maximum capacity and in need of repair, renovation or a potential addition to allow for the expansion of services to meet the needs of the City’s population. The City will partner with the Mission through the Cumberland Economic Development Corporation (CEDC).
-YMCA Bus Replacement – This project will provide the necessary funds to the YMCA to broaden school routes and increase the number of households serviced for childcare, provide workforce benefit, create a mobile feeding bus, and provide tourism shuttles. The YMCA provides before, after, and school out daycare as well as summer day care and is the only licensed center in Allegany Co. that provides transportation before and after school. The micro-buses used for transportation are in poor condition for transporting passengers and need to be replaced. This project will add three brand new micro-buses to the fleet, increasing total capacity to 76 passengers. In addition to childcare, the fleet serves the City and County-tourism sector and non-profits. The plan for one of the retired micro-buses is to become a hot meal mobile feeding bus to provide nutritious meals to children.
-Constitution Park Amphitheatre & Pavilions 1&2 and Pool Splash Pad Projects - These are community-based projects to improve outdoor spaces that provide opportunities for a healthy lifestyle, increased tourism and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The Constitution Park Amphitheater and Pavilions are undergoing much needed improvements, helping make the site more accessible by providing additional seating, including accessible areas with companion seating, improved lighting along with upgrading the existing electric service, replacing the deteriorated picnic tables and grills, rehabilitating the existing restrooms, making security upgrades (camera system) and resealing the amphitheater stage.
The Pool Splash Pad Project involves removing the wooden deck, expanding the area toward the road, installing a splash pad, pouring a concrete deck in the area between the new splash pad and the pool slide and replacing the fencing around the entire perimeter of the pool. Mayor and City Council has made city park improvements a priority.
All of these programs/projects are aimed at the betterment of the Cumberland community. For full details on the disbursement of ARPA funds, please visit the Transparency Portal on the City’s website: http://www.ci.cumberland.md.us/454/Transparency-Portal.
Questions may be directed to Ken Tressler, the City’s Director of Administrative Services, at 301-722-2000.