Following several months of discussion, public input, and workshops, the Town of Mills River has decided to allocate its American Rescue Plan funds in two phases of approximately $1.1 million.
Using the Town’s comprehensive plan as a guide, Town Council decided to earmark $500,000 for land conservation, $500,000 to acquire property to expand and improve existing services, and $100,000 in nonprofit support. Both land conservation and property acquisition seek to address several goals in the Town’s recently adopted Making Mills River comprehensive plan, including protecting and preserving the rural and agricultural character of Mills River, promoting the preservation of agricultural and natural lands, and encouraging land stewardship.
Mayor Gonce stated, “This first phase of funding is an effort to make investments in Mills River which will have a lasting legacy for the community.” In addition to legacy projects, a portion of these funds are intended to support local area nonprofits who serve the residents of Mills River by providing funding opportunities for one-time projects like building improvements, equipment replacement, or other large purchases.
The Council repeated its sentiment several times during this week’s workshop that this is the first phase of funding and when considering a second phase next year, funding amounts, projects, or goals may be adjusted based upon feedback and the results of the first phase. Requesting funding for these types of projects does not disqualify an organization from seeking additional funding next spring during the development of the annual budget.
Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Randy Austin said, “I am proud to be part of a Council that has a vision for the future by funding projects like land preservation and looking for opportunities to provide more space for parks, while also partnering with nonprofits to serve the community. It is a win-win for everyone.”
For more information please www.millsriver.org/arpa.