Metro Council will weigh mayor’s plan for spending $12.6M in federal grant money

Baton Rouge City Hall (File photo)

The Metro Council today will take up Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s plan for spending nearly $12.6 million in federal grant money. 

The largest share is $5.1 million from an American Rescue Plan Act program meant to reduce homelessness and increase housing stability. 

Beneficiaries of the funding include construction of the Elm Grove multifamily project in Scotlandville, the redevelopment of the Hotel Lincoln and a new pumping station on Terrace Street. 

The council also will take up an ordinance calling for the new position of chief of administration of the Baton Rouge Fire Department. The pay grade for the position ranges from $64,913 to $117,240.

The fire department’s proposed budget would delete a separate position, leading to a net budget increase of about $25,000, city-parish spokesperson Mark Armstrong says. The fire and police civil service board would have to approve the new position if the council signs off. 

An item to be introduced Wednesday calls for spending $306,000 in federal ARP money to give a pay bump for Head Start personnel, out of a $1.4 million grant the council approved in June. The money would go toward $1,500 one-time retention allowances for current employees and new hires who successfully complete a 90-day performance review.