Towns across the US are holding public hearings on how they will spend the American Rescue Plan Funds. Perth Amboy was given $16,443,343.42 in American Rescue Plan Assistance. The Waterfront Neighborhood Association asked the City at the last council meeting how they are planning to use these funds, and if there will be any public hearings.
American Rescue Plan funds, part of $360 billion in state and local aid, are intended to “help keep essential workers on the job, assist struggling families and small businesses and make investments in infrastructure.”
Questions about how the funds will be spent came as a result of the Caba Administration asking the City Council to approve about $16 million in bonds for city improvements, like water meters and other infrastructure projects. The administrator Michael Green was asked, why are we bonding for infrastructure when we have been allocated this relief money for infrastructure? What are the plans for the use of the funds?
To date, there has been no information provided to the public about how the funds will be used, therefore we asked for public hearings on the use of the funds. Hopefully the result will be more transparency.
Perth Amboy was at the forefront of taking action to improve the quality of life of its residents and protect public health in relation to the threat of smoking by creating smoke free parks. In 2013, Perth Amboy banned outdoor smoking in and around public parks. The City Code Chapter 377 Smoking and Lighted Objects says outdoor smoking is banned “in public parks and recreational areas. In or on public parks, playgrounds, ball fields, recreational areas, and any adjacent parking area, driveway, and drive aisle, owned or otherwise possessed by the City of Perth Amboy.”
The code says that the smoke free park rule is an effort to protect the public health from “the annoyance, nuisance and health hazard which result from secondhand smoke.” Smoking in a park here holds a fine of up to $50.
There were 27 homes sold in Perth Amboy in September 2021. It was reported by Redfin, in September, Perth Amboy home prices were up 29.1% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $398K. This increase is higher than the statewide increase of 12%. There were 66.7% of homes sold over list price, and the housing market is viewed as competitive, with homes receiving multiple offers. The NJ residential real estate market has benefitted from low interest rates brought on by the pandemic economy. Buyers are motivated by the low rates on mortgages, but face a low housing inventory, with high demand that have driven up prices.
Cold weather is approaching. If you need help paying your utility bills the State of New Jersey has programs that can help with your home heating, emergency fuel, and electricity costs.
Apply online: bit.ly/DCAIDportal
For eligibility, visit: nj.gov/dca/dcaid or call 1-800-510-3102