NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — City council members in Niagara Falls approved millions of dollars in American Rescue Plan funding to help local businesses as well as the police and fire departments.
During a special session Friday evening, the Niagara Falls City Council approved $340,000 in ARP funding to go to the police department to buy 10 new vehicles. The department hopes to have those in service in the coming weeks.
The new funding comes as the police department faces critical staffing shortages that city leaders are now working to resolve.
Council members also earmarked $44,000 for the fire department to upgrade windows, heating and air conditioning at its stations citywide.
"Police officers and firefighters in Niagara Falls are true examples of selfless community servants," said Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino. "They regularly put their lives on the line in order to keep our families and neighbors safe. In return, it is our job, as government leaders, to ensure they are able to do their jobs as safely and efficiently as possible. I applaud the City Council for approving this funding, and I thank Congressman Brian Higgins for his efforts in securing this federal assistance.”
On top of approving ARP funding for the police and fire departments, city council members also allocated $3 million in ARP funds to the NFC Development Corporation for its Minority and Women Business Enterprise grant program. That will open grants of up to $50,000 to businesses that are at least 51% controlled and owned by women or other minorities.