Town of Blacksburg Selects Sojourn Center Project for $695,000 in ARPA Funding.

Blacksburg Selects Key Projects for ARPA Funding

Blacksburg Town Council has approved a plan prioritizing 11 projects to be funded by a $13.3m American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation over the next four years. ARPA was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. The $1.9 trillion dollar plan offers assistance to millions of Americans, and assistance to communities struggling to retain and regain normalcy coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After several months of community engagement and brainstorming, priority projects that would have the greatest impact were identified.  Through this process, the Town learned a great deal about the community’s priorities, and that knowledge significantly influenced the final list of projects to be funded by the ARPA allocation. Over 1,500 surveys were completed, in addition to extensive staff, community partner, and Town Council involvement to narrow down 11 out of 57 proposed projects for funding. Many of the selected projects are not traditionally funded by local governments, including strengthening our childcare workforce, supporting food security programs, creating new community gardens, and making a significant investment in affordable housing opportunities for our workforce.

“These funds have presented a once in a generation opportunity to invest in our community,” said Assistant to the Town Manager Matt Hanratty. “It was critical that the Town selected projects that aligned with community needs, helped those hardest hit by the pandemic, and made strategic investments to move our community toward the future we envision.”

The final report which outlines in detail the process, timeline, community priorities, and the funded projects can be found on the Town’s public engagement site, Let’s Talk Blacksburg, at  Annual progress updates for these projects will also be shared through this website. 

“These projects will have a profound impact on our community for many decades to come and the Town would like to thank the many citizens who helped us shape the direction for investing ARPA funds in our community.”

From the final report:  “The Town plans to invest $695,000 of ARPA funds in Sojourn Inc., which is working to develop an 8- bed hospice house in Blacksburg. Funds would support the architectural and engineering costs for the eventual facility, which will be located near Warm Hearth. This project was not originally included in the public engagement survey. However, the great interest in serving vulnerable residents and seniors as expressed in the survey comments led staff to recommend funding for this project.”

Map of the Sojourn Center property donated by Roger Woody