Alisher Aminov

On Monday, the Lebanon City Council met to announce the $1 million ARPA grant recipients for non-profit organizations and unveil new police contracts in Council Chambers at the recently opened Cumberland Street City Hall. 

At the beginning of the City Council meeting, Mayor Sherry Capello announced the recipients of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, part of a $1 million grant opportunity for non-profit organizations based in Lebanon City.

Mayor Capello said the city received 46 applications with a total request of $4.4 million; however, 12 of the applications were not considered. Five applications for City-owned facilities were removed for unfairness, six applications were for organizations located outside of the City or incomplete, and one application was withdrawn. 

Mayor Capello said the total requested amount for applications that were removed was $2.182 million. 

The remaining 34 applications (with a total ask of $2.218 million) were reviewed by a panel of three city members: former Council Member/Lebanon City business owner Wayne Carrey, business owner Judy Williams Henry, and former healthcare employee Jose Torres.

Mayor Capello said the panel assigned to review the applications and allocate the funds looked for specific factors as they sought to make their decisions.

She said the commission looked for organizations/proposals that impacted individuals with mental/physical health needs, youth, veterans, and the homeless. In addition, they reviewed the scope of the potential impact the initiative would have on the city, and the organizations themselves, to ensure that they would be able to accomplish and sustain what they outlined in the application. 

Additionally, Mayor Capello said the city would consider funding programs that currently depend on other grant funding once additional funding is secured. They will review the applications from City-owned facilities later as well.

The complete list of organizations that received funding and the amount they received are: 

  • Halcyon Activity Center (for a new air conditioner): $25,000 
  • Developmental and Disabilities Services of Lebanon Valley (early intervention program): $40,000 
  • Friends of Coleman Memorial Park (youth activities in the park): $2,084 
  • Lebanon County Youth Advocate Program (YAP Work X at Lebanon Highschool): $153,650 
  • Lebanon Family Health Services (preventative reproductive health services for low-income city resident): $39,875 
  • Lebanon County Christian Ministries (Fresh Start): $160,600 
  • Lebanon Valley Conservancy (Heritage Map): $4,000 
  • SAARC (advocacy and crisis response for child sexual abuse survivors): $31,861 
  • SAARC (for at risk resident): $5,000 
  • Lebanon Valley Family YMCA (for Confidence Achievement Mindset problem solving camp): $127,008 
  • Lebanon Valley Council of the Arts (Gallery 770 modernization): $6,800 
  • Community of Lebanon Association (CLA) (for downtown Lebanon tree lighting): $15,452 
  • Lebanon Rescue Mission (Lebanon Free Clinic future model): $45,000 
  • Lebanon Rescue Mission (tent to home gap housing for families): $25,000 
  • Compeer in Lebanon: $50,000 
  • Making a Difference of Lebanon PA (2022 education series): $2,700 
  • Habitat for Humanity (Lebanon City home rehab program): $50,000 
  • Lebanon Foundation (downtown marketing): $10,000 
  • Lebanon Valley Volunteers in Medicine (free clinic): $65,970 
  • Communities and Schools of Pennsylvania (integrated student support): $80,000 
  • Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County (shelter support services): $60,000

Additionally, Mayor Capello announced an updated contract agreement with the Lebanon Police Bargaining Association between the years 2022-2024.

In the new contract agreement, Mayor Capello said starting salaries for police officers would increase from $49,300 to $57,000 for 2022. Additionally, the fourth step for the cost-of-living increase would be removed; new officers in the force will increase their salaries each year, starting at $57,000 for the first year, increasing to $59,457 in year two and $62,801 in year three. 

Any officer who is a second or third-year officer will automatically get the same salary increase. Officers who have been in the force longer will receive an automatic 3% salary increase.

Additionally, any bilingual officer (speaking an additional language predominantly spoken in Lebanon) will receive $0.50 per hour more. 

Mayor Capello also said the deductibles for City insurance would increase slightly across the board, and some prescription co-pays would increase; however, the incentives for officers removing themselves from the City’s insurance will increase as well. 

In other business, the mayor gave a budget update to the Council – the city is 33% through this fiscal year, with 52% of revenue collected and roughly 25% of expenditures already complete. 

In addition, Lebanon City resident Sandra Dissinger spoke to the Council about two disputes between her neighbor and herself and a discrepancy with yard waste removal. Finally, Norman Tobias talked to the Council about waste being thrown into City streets.

The next pre-city council meeting will be held Thursday, June 23rd at 4:45 p.m. in the Dixon Council Chamber/Multipurpose Room located at 735 Cumberland St. The regular city council meeting will be on Monday, June 27th at 6:30 p.m.

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