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Beech Grove to award some ARP funds to city workers

The city announced approximately $250,000 of its $3.3 million in American Rescue Plan funds will be given in stipends to city workers.

BEECH GROVE, Ind. — Editor's note: The video accompanying this story reports on the response of Beech Grove school employees responding to feed students after in-person classes shut down at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Beech Grove employees will see a one-time bonus from the city's share of American Rescue Plan funds. 

The city announced Friday that the stipend for city workers is one of its spending priorities for the $3.3 million it will receive in ARP funds.

Full-time employees who worked for Beech Grove before March 8, 2020 and are still employed at the city will get the $2,500 stipend. Approximately 100 employees are eligible, according the city’s announcement. 

Elected officials will not receive the stipend.

Mayor Dennis Buckley credited the city's workers for performing their duties throughout the pandemic. 

“When the first stay-at-home orders took effect, our city employees never stopped working,” Buckley said. “They patrolled our streets, responded to public safety emergencies, picked up trash, and managed city operations and finances, all while engaging with the public in the middle of a public health crisis."

The stipend will be paid in addition to a 3% cost of living increase for full and part-time employees that was approved last month by the Beech Grove Common Council in the 2021-2022 city budget.

The city’s ARP spending plan also includes a number of infrastructure improvements, including a new HVAC system for the Beech Grove Senior Center and a new van for Hornet Park that will be used to retrieve food from Second Helpings. 

The city is also planning storm water improvements, LED streetlights and trail enhancements. City Hall will also get window replacements to improve airflow to protect workers and visitors.

Beech Grove hired a plan administrator to develop a multi-phase process to distribute its ARP funds. The first phase focuses on infrastructure, while the second phase will examine and address the impact of COVID-19 on the community and be announced some time in 2022.


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