The City’s ARPA RFP’s will be posted on the City of Springfield Office of Procurement website at: www.springfield-ma.gov/finance/arpa. RFP’s will also be made available at the Springfield Municipal Building at 70 Tapley Street and at all local neighborhood libraries.
Mayor Sarno has identified seven categories in which RFP’s will be utilized to enhance projects, programs and initiatives across the city. They include: job creation/economic development; capital projects; housing development and redevelopment; and assistance for businesses, non-profits, seniors, and our neighborhoods.
In August, 2021, Mayor Sarno created the department of Recovery and Business Continuity, under the Office of Administration and Finance, to serve as a centralized point in which all ARPA funding will go through. The department of Recovery and Business Continuity (DRBC) is tasked with the objective of effectively, efficiently, and equitably administering ARPA funds within the City of Springfield for all eligible use categories, as determined by the United States Department of the Treasury through its Interim Final Rule. DRBC is responsible for utilizing public input gathered from the City’s residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to implement an open and transparent process for ARPA funding to be distributed, so that the maximum benefit is derived for the people of Springfield, in furtherance of the goals and objectives of the Act.
Attorney Thomas Moore serves as the Director for this new department and will work alongside the Mayor, Chief Administrative and Finance Office (CAFO) TJ Plante, Chief Development Officer (CDO) Tim Sheehan and Director of Technical Assistance and Compliance Patrice ‘Chae’ Swan to strategically implement the city’s local ARPA funding and to maintain compliance with all tenets of the law.
Mayor Sarno states, “First off, I want to thank Congressman Richard Neal, Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, for his continued leadership and strong advocacy on behalf of the City of Springfield. Our local ARPA funding is designated by the federal American Rescue Plan Act to provide direct aid to the City of Springfield. We have another transformative opportunity before us, to continue to shape the future of our City, similar to the numerous neighborhood and economic development projects my administration made post tornado. As previously announced, these RFP’s will focus on the seven categories my Administration has identified to continue to enhance and build upon the many initiatives, programs and projects for the betterment of all in our City.”
In advance of the RFP’s, Mayor Sarno and his ARPA team made up of CAFO TJ Plante, CDO Tim Sheehan, Director of Recovery and Business Continuity Attorney Tom Moore, Director of Technical Assistance and Compliance Patrice ‘Chae’ Swan and Budget Analysis Saumajit ‘Sam’ Saha, held nearly 30 listening sessions with neighborhood councils and other agencies, organizations, non-profits and business groups to hear and discuss their ideas and thoughts on how the City can best utilize local ARPA funding.
“These neighborhood listening sessions were very helpful and productive in hearing the needs and wants from our community,” Mayor Sarno said. “We began these listening sessions back in August and were able to hear from almost 30 neighborhood councils, agencies, non-profits, business groups and organizations. Throughout these sessions, we heard a common theme of what our neighborhoods and residents and business community want and need, and we believe that these RFP’s are focused on addressing some of these projects and initiatives. For those items that may be beyond the scope of these ARPA RFP’s, we will continue to explore other creative funding sources such as the potential federal infrastructure legislation, state and municipal bond bills, and other funding and grant opportunities.”
In addition, Mayor Sarno and his ARPA team met with our local Springfield State Delegation to discuss the State Legislatures plans for the $5.2 billion ARPA funding the Commonwealth is looking to allocate. “It is my intentions to provide as much assistances and relief as possible to our residents and business community,” Mayor Sarno continued. “My Administration will continue to lobby our state delegation so that our Springfield residents and businesses receive our fair share of the State Legislatures $5.2 billion of federal ARPA monies. We will also continue to leverage any other state and federal resources that become available.”
CAFO TJ Plante stated, “The listening sessions Mayor Sarno and the ARPA team have held have been very productive in helping to better align not only our ARPA RFP’s to enhance the seven categories Mayor Sarno has identified but to also provide insight on how the Office of Administration and Finance can better plan and budget for future projects and initiatives as part of the City of Springfield current and future Capital Project planning. I want to acknowledge and thank Attorney Tom Moore and Director Patrice ‘Chae’ Swan for their continued efforts on assuring that this RFP process for our local ARPA funding is efficient, effective, transparent and in compliance of all aspects of the law. Moving forward, our Office of A&F will continue to monitor all alternative funding sources, including the upcoming federal infrastructure legislation, to continue to move all of our Springfield projects forward.”
Attorney Tom Moore added, “Thanks to the unprecedented public outreach campaign undertaken by Mayor Sarno and his ARPA team during the past eight weeks, we have been able to obtain critical data about the negative health and economic impacts of COVID-19 on our businesses, neighborhoods, and residents. As a result, the City’s RFP process reflects the input received directly from the people of Springfield. Interested parties are strongly encouraged to participate, and we look forward to providing much needed assistance throughout the City with these ARPA grants.”
CDO Tim Sheehan stated, “Over the past few months so many Springfield neighborhoods, nonprofits and business organizations have taken the time to inform the City about their needs and the many transformative and collaborative opportunities that they seek to advance in response to the impacts from COVID. Hearing from the community in such an expansive and diverse way, has provided deeper insights and will ultimately guide the City’s decisions on how to ultimately award ARPA funding in an equitable manner that will allow the City to build back better, stronger and more inclusive. Today, we collectively begin the work of addressing immediate needs and moving many ideas and initiatives forward and that is truly exciting for the entire Springfield community.”
Director Patrice ‘Chae’ Swan said, “The neighborhood listening tour was enlightening and productive. To converse about the wants, needs, innovative and creative ideas of our city residents, business interests, and public service agencies…were very illuminating discussions. I believe the Mayor has assembled a committed team comprised of CAFO TJ Plante, Attorney Tom Moore, CDO Timothy Sheehan, and myself, in order to administer the ARPA funds. I am extremely excited for this opportunity to assist in the process of moving our beautiful city forward”