Advertisement

Residents, local leaders share ideas on how to spend Penobscot County ARPA funds

Suggestions included investments in affordable housing, services for mental health and addiction treatment, ways to reduce jail overcrowding, enhanced rural transportation, and expanded broadband.
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 10:46 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Dozens of residents and local leaders suggested how they’d like Penobscot County to spend nearly $30 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding in a listening session Wednesday night.

The session was held exclusively online due to inclement weather.

Suggestions included investments in affordable housing, services for mental health and addiction treatment, ways to reduce jail overcrowding, enhanced rural transportation, and expanded broadband.

Among the ideas, supportive housing was a constant from each group.

”Housing alone was not the answer,” said Chief Operating Officer of Penquis Heidi LeBlanc. “It was housing with those supportive services that are tailored to whatever that person’s history might be.”

“It’s using the money to allow us to be able to push our thinking, and at least experiment with some innovative ways that we might not have the resources to otherwise explore,” said Bangor City Councilor Jonathan Sprague.

There are also listening sessions scheduled in Brewer, Old Town, East Millinocket, Newport, Lincoln and virtually on Zoom over the next month.

Penobscot County is expecting to receive the second half of its total funding as early as May.

Copyright 2022 WABI. All rights reserved.