SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Listen up Spartanburg taxpayers, the city is deciding what to do with millions of dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funds.

City staff just presented a preliminary plan to council laying out the framework of where $15 million can go. Their goal is to make investments that support long-term growth.

“It’s a once in a generation opportunity,” said Chris George, with the city of Spartanburg.

The city has $16.5 million dollars in ARPA Funds, with $1.5 million of that being allocated towards the Hello Family Program.

“That’s an early childhood intervention program that we, the city, has invested in with some partners,” said George.

As for the remainder of the money, Spartanburg city leaders said they’ve relied on public input and one topic seems to be on many minds.

“More affordable housing. I think that that would be a great idea. Maybe even more shelters, versus the two or three that we have now,” said resident Asia Miller.

“Super stoked about affordable housing. I think that assisted housing is always a good move, like permanent supportive housing projects,” said resident Robin Lowe-Skillern.

Nothing is set in stone, but George said that’s one topic on the table.

“Things like increasing the number of affordable rental units in low-income areas, supporting home ownership in those areas,” he said. “Assisting folks with staying in their homes, with home repairs with people who are on fixed incomes.”

The preliminary plan has $3.5 million set aside to increase the number of affordable rental units.

“That would be focused around a lot of our lower income areas, too. Because, as we grow, we know that we’re going to need to boost the number of homeowners in those areas, in part, to help stop from displacing folks,” said George.

They are also considering things like city infrastructure and projects like renovating the fire station on Wofford Street.

Residents also said they would like to see an increase in green space in the city.

“I think it’s like a cheaper way to achieve what people think of as typical infrastructure, I think that we can achieve through more rain gardens, community gardens and greening up more urban spaces,” said Lowe-Skillern.

George said all of the money has to be distributed by July 1, 2024. Council is still debating how much should be spent in each area. George said the city is anticipating having a decision in the next several weeks.

For more on the preliminary plan, click here.