KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon has proposed using over $35 million of federal pandemic relief funds on a host of programs to improve city infrastructure, support community development and boost public safety.

The $35 million would consist of $21,226,706 in direct funds from the American Rescue Plan Act and $13.3 million of local funds made available thanks to a Federal Transit Authority grant.

“Thanks to these federal transit funds, we’re now able to re-appropriate local dollars and have no down-side effect on Knoxville Area Transit operations,” Mayor Kincannon said. “We will be prioritizing programs that put into action our core values.” 

The City Council will be asked to approve the amendment to the City’s operating and capital budgets on the first of two readings at its Oct. 19, 2021 meeting. A detailed list of spending proposals can be found on knoxvilletn.gov/arpa.

“Cities rightfully switched priorities during the pandemic to help families and individuals in need. Now, with this federal funding, we can also get back in full stride, investing strategically in things like roads, sidewalks and stormwater upgrades.” 

Proposal highlights for ARPA funds

  • $5 million to Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) for water system projects
  • $3.5 million for City stormwater projects
  • $2.58 million in “hero pay” to front-line City employees
  • $2.5 million to offset higher-than-expected construction costs for the City’s Public Safety Complex
  • $2 million to the Community Action Committee for transportation services and family-support services
  • $1.3 million to the Arts and Culture Alliance
  • $1 million to convert a hotel building into individual supportive housing units for those experiencing homelessness, where residents will have access to social workers and services
  • $1 million+ for behavioral and mental-health treatment and services, $900k to be matched by Knox County
  • $1 million to the United Way of Greater Knoxville to distribute as grants to local non-profit groups

Proposal highlights for remaining funds

  • $3 million for street resurfacing
  • $1.75 million for construction of new sidewalks
  • $1.2 million to increase road capacity along Millertown Pike between Kinzel Way and Mill Road
  • $1 million+ to update information technology equipment & increase the City’s cybersecurity protections
  • $1 million for neighborhood traffic calming
  • $740,000 for neighborhood park improvements
  • $500,000 to Ijams Nature Center to fund infrastructure upgrades
  • 500,000 to match state & federal funds for reconstruction of roadways, including Magnolia Ave, Papermill Dr, Broadway and Washington Pike