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Mayor’s Report – October 26, 2021

October 28, 2021 | Mayor's Office
By: Mayor Danene Sorace

Over the past few months, we have started the process of prioritizing community concerns to address with the $39.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (or ARPA) funds allocated to the City of Lancaster. Council, thank you for engaging in this conversation and determining next steps. 

As we have talked about throughout the month, housing issues are a priority for many of us and our neighbors. Currently, “affordable housing” is the most voted priority through our engagement on ARPA funds that has reached more than 500 people over the past two months to date. It feels noteworthy tonight to be devoting the first round of ARPA funding to housing and we will continue to work with City Council on a process for allocating additional funds for housing in the coming weeks.  

I am grateful for our collective work over the past several months and this is definitely a start worth celebrating.

October 30 will be the last day to submit comments at Engage.CityofLancasterpa.com. I encourage city residents who have not given input about their ideas related to how to utilize ARPA funds to submit their responses online. Our engagement team will prepare a report of the results to share with Council and the community on Nov. 9. This information will help guide future investments.   

But first, the 2022 budget! City staff are hard at work preparing the 2022 budget which will be presented to Council on November 23 followed by budget hearings on Saturday, December 11 beginning at 10 am.  

Additionally, I want to provide Council an update regarding a meeting with landlords that happened in Council Chambers last night. It was a full house and I was grateful that so many came to learn more about what we are thinking regarding changes to the lead hazard control ordinance, rental licensure, and inspections process. Thursday evening, we’ll be meeting with childcare providers across the city. It underscored the commitment of our staff to wading through detail after detail regarding potential processes, our commitment to efficiency, and most of all our commitment to ensuring the health and well-being of our children through prevention efforts. It also underscored the unique partnership between the City and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. We were hoping to bring an ordinance to you next month for consideration; however, we are still exploring various options and soliciting feedback. All this to say, there is more to come, and I look forward to updating you in the coming months as our team and community of landlords, tenants and childcare providers work together to address lead hazards in our midst.  

You can watch the October 26 City Council meeting on the City of Lancaster’s YouTube channel here.