Reading Mayor Eddie Moran in city hall office

Reading Mayor Eddie Moran at his desk in City Hall

READING, Pa. — Reading has millions of dollars in federal money to spend over the next few years, but what the city will spend that money on is still up in the air.

That's why Mayor Eddie Morán is turning to the city's residents, organizations, and community groups for input. He announced Tuesday that he will host the first of two public meetings this week.

The goal is to determine how the city should invest the more than $61 million it received from the federal government's $1.9-trillion American Rescue Plan stimulus package.

The city has already allocated some of the money. The Reading Fightin Phils will get $3 million for required upgrades at the city-owned FirstEnergy Stadium; and the Berks County Convention Center Authority, which oversees the operation of the Santander Arena and the Santander Performing Arts Center, will receive $3 million to offset the money it lost while the venues were closed during the pandemic.

Both organizations received the same amount from Berks County's share of ARP funding.

The Morán administration has proposed spending an additional $35 million on things like homelessness; residential façade improvement; parks and playgrounds; arts, cultural and music programs; blight remediation; and sidewalk repairs.

The city council will have to approve the expenditures.

In the meantime, those who are interested in sharing their thoughts about how the money should be spent can attend the first session on Thursday from 6 until 8 p.m. It will take place on the second floor of Centro Hispano, 501 Washington St. in center city.

Parking will be available in the Abraham Lincoln garage at 100 N. Fifth St. from 5 until 8:30 p.m. Also, the Trinity Lutheran Church will open its parking lot in the 100 block of North Fifth Street for attendees who enter between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The lot's exit is via Church Street.

The second public meeting has not yet been scheduled.

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