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More than 200 people give feedback on how Roanoke should spend $64.M in COVID-19 relief funds

Many of the suggestions revolve around crime, homelessness and the economy

Roanoke took the next step to figure out how to use the money it received from the American Rescue Plan.
Roanoke took the next step to figure out how to use the money it received from the American Rescue Plan.

ROANOKE, Va. – On Wednesday, the City of Roanoke took the next step in determining how to spend its money from the American Rescue Plan.

The Star City Strong Recovery and Resiliency Advisory Panel met for its third meeting. It’s a citizens group that will help city council decide how to spend $64.5 million.

They sifted through more than 200 responses to a community survey from city leaders on how to spend the money. That work will lay the groundwork for what’s to come.

“This meeting and probably the next one will really focus on this on the working, so today what they’re trying to do is take that collection of pages and pages of ideas and seeing if they can get that boiled down to really a beginning of priorities to move forward with and they’ll do that over a couple of meetings,” Roanoke city manager Bob Cowell said.

City council will ultimately design and approve the final spending budget. The panel expects to make its recommendations to council by mid-September.