City Council To Host Public Hearing On Spending $110 Million In Rescue Act Funds

Where to spend $110 million the next few years? The city, weighing general expenditure areas outlined by federal officials, is trying to figure out the best use of dollars from The American Rescue Plan Act. The City Council has formally accepted the money, now wants to hear from constituents where it should be invested.

A public hearing will take place Tuesday 6 p.m. by Zoom/teleconference. The public may dial into this meeting by calling the following conference line and then entering the conference code:
Dial-In Number: (929) 436 2866
Meeting ID: 381 083 245

Federal treasury guidelines lay out general areas where the funds can be spent:

• Support public health expenditures, by funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, and certain public health and safety staff;
• Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries, and the public sector;
• Replace lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic;
• Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have borne and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors; and,
• Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and to expand access to broadband internet.

See more detailed guidelines here.

The city is also is seeking input through an online survey from residents, business owners, and organizations until June 25, 2021. To complete the survey, visit or click here.



  1. Where to spend $110 million the next few years? We must look at some unsettleing city business first, the city needs exams to hire a new Labor Relation Director, a new Personnel Director, a new City Health Director and a new Police Chief. There needs to be a restructuring of these departments before any money is spent. With the City’s Police Chief and the Personnel Director just starting their prision tme in a federal prision there are to many unanswered questions those departments being managed.

  2. Just leave it all up to Joe,he’ll make sure the money gets funneled…errr,handed out to the right “organizations”
    This whole thing will not go well in Bpt, too many still left in the swamp that are going to want a piece of this money.

    1. This is the best thing for the city seeing that they won’t ever get a casino but Joe and Mario better be careful because this is FEDERAL MONEY and they will be watching Bridgeport.

  3. I can picture it now.
    First of all some kind of demolition and construction will be needed. We can figure out later what the hell they’ll be building.
    There will be plenty of money to go around for property. Uncle Sal, Gus, United Properties, etc. everyone will have a pay day. One final payday.
    So much money going around with a cut off the top. This could almost be a lucrative as a casino.

    1. Out-of-state banks are a big pandemic winners in Bridgeport.
      Here’s why:
      Starting in 1999, the Fed’s credit carousel (their term not mine) meant thousands of mortgages were bought from Bridgeport banks in exchange for capital (money). Fresh capital meant more building and buying until 2008. Since then, these banks have looked with dismay at Bridgeport prices and are thrilled to find anxious buyers for their underperforming properties. New Yorkers are used to high prices, high taxes and high crime.
      It’s a good fit and an under-reported development.

  4. Bridgeporters that can recall the Clinton Administration’s competitive funding program for distressed cities/neighborhoods, of which Bridgeport was a successful participant, realize that we have to be very skeptical about citizen input having any effect on the ultimate use of “windfall” — non-ear marked — federal funds by City Hall.

    In the mid-90’s, Bridgeporters from throughout the city began convening at the city-wide and neighborhood levels in response to requirements by the Clinton Administration/HUD Empowerment Zone Awards Program for distressed municipalities to enter the competition for federal socioeconomic development grants of up to $100 million. Cities had to submit detailed plans for the short- and long-term application of any funds received, with such plans being submitted through, and in the context of an interrelated, multi-tiered (neighborhood/sector -citywide), multi-area (e.g., public-safety — environmental remediation) citizen-comprised super-structure created as an integral part of the overall process of determining what the city needed by way of remediation of problematic socioeconomic areas in pursuit of future municipal socioeconomic health and stability.

    Bridgeporters formed the Community Collaborative for Bridgeport (CCB), a super-committee comprised of Bridgeport citizens/stakeholders that had, during and after its democratic/grass-roots-effort formation, created a comprehensive plan for virtually all aspects of the socioeconomic redevelopment of 1990’s Bridgeport…

    The plan submitted by the CCB earned a shot at the $100 million, despite City Hall subterfuge (G1 was determined to hobble/derail the emerging political competition/dissent entailed by the grant-competition, grass-roots process). Ultimately, even in the context of the above-cited City Hall/G1 subversion of the Community Collaborative effort, the CCB was awarded $3,000,000.

    It should be known by OIB readers/Bridgeporters that City Hall/G1 managed to convince HUD (then headed by now NY Governor Mario Cuomo) after a round of G1/White House lunch excursions, that the CCB, despite having created a winning plan, utilizing input from a very broad, deep base of Bridgeport citizens/stakeholders, was not capable of appropriately/effectively utilizing the money, and that therefore the money should be received, controlled, and doled-out to the CCB (neighborhoods/subcommittees) by City Hall.

    Well; wouldn’t you know that every time the CCB participant subcommittees/neighborhoods tried to access any of the $3,000,000 for a designated project, they were made to meet ever-changing, arbitrary requirements for receipt by City Hall?! One, by one, the subcommittees, and eventually the whole CCB dissolved through attrition, and the $3,000,000 was allowed to “go missing”… To this day, the fate of the CCB $3,000,000 remains unknown… (It might still make for some interesting investigative reporting by a journalist in need of a story-line…)

    So; citizen input to guide the spending of the $110 million in federal “Rescue Funding” for Bridgeport? Don’t look for any process occurring during the light of day — much less one involving grass-roots input — to affect the fate of that City Hall “windfall”…

  5. As Bridgeport looks to rebuild and where to spend $110 million the next few years from The American Rescue Plan Act. The history of public housing in America one can start right here and see the problems of America today and why the city must be wise on how and where to spend $110 million the next few years. This is a great American story.

    “Father Panik Village: the Place Where Dreams Refused to Die”
    By Britney Murphy

    Father Stephen Panik spearheaded the campaign to construct good quality and affordable public housing in Bridgeport shortly after the passage of the Wagner-Steagall Act. As pastor of St. Cyril & Methodius Roman Catholic Church (located in the city’s East Side neighborhood), he was disheartened by the living conditions of many of his poor parishioners, often immigrants of European descent. Newspapers derided the slum conditions as breading disease, crime, and promoting moral decay.[7] Father Panik lamented that slum dwellers had “faces marked by misery, faces delineated by despair, and indeed, faces in which the crushing malevolence of the slums already had made their mark.”[8] In his position as chairman of the Bridgeport Housing Authority (BHA), Father Panik amassed enough public support for slum clearance to compel Mayor Jasper McLevy to reverse his previous opposition to the plan.[9] When finally constructed, the Village’s modern amenities far surpassed the quality of the dwellings it replaced. Commentators hailed Yellow Mill as the solution to a number of poverty-related issues including public health and juvenile delinquency. More importantly, the stability and economic assistance that public housing provided encouraged upward financial mobility. The Village, more or less, did not disappoint expectations; it provided secure, sanitary, and well-maintained transient shelter in which the underprivileged could uplift themselves.

  6. Jeff
    Not one to say I told you so but I told you so.
    This is the council asking the public how about hey would like to see it spent. That is all this is. It is not a requirement. So ask and you shall not receive. But thank you for your input just the same.

    1. Thank you Bob, that’s exactly what it is, the council asking the public how about hey would like to see it spent. That is all this is. It is not a requirement, the City Council has formally accepted the money, now wants to hear from constituents where it should be invested, they want you to answer question from a survey which means absolutely nothing, 90% of the voters can say that they want someting done and that means nothing to Joe Ganim, Mario Testa nd so in power because they will make the decision, that’s the systemic system of political power in Bridgeport. Hopefully the FBI has enough wire taping and informants around, it’s hard to change bad habits when it comes to money.

  7. Jim
    You’re getting confused with all this trillion dollar funds.
    Congress St bridge will come under INFRASTRUCTURE – Traditional if it ever passes. Unless you just want to give up on it and replace it with expanded use of the waterfront to get people out. Then you might squeeze it in under this.


Leave a Reply