City of Harvey receives funds for improvements

Mayor Christopher J. Clark welcomed representatives from the
Office of Congresswoman Robin Kelly to the city council meeting
on Monday, March 13, to present two ceremonial checks.
Mayor Christopher J. Clark welcomed representatives from the Office of Congresswoman Robin Kelly to the city council meeting on Monday, March 13, to present two ceremonial checks.

 City of Harvey receives funds for improvements

By Tia Carol Jones
Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s Office recently presented two checks to the City of Harvey. The first check was awarded to the City of Harvey Fire Department which it will be used to purchase a new fire engine. The second check will be used to acquire and demolish blighted and vacant buildings, as well as for streetlight improvements.

The check presentation took place on Monday, March 13th, during the Harvey City Council Meeting. The first check, in the amount of $527,272.72, came from FEMA/Homeland Security – Assistance to Firefighters Grant. The second check was in the amount of $2.25 million. The second check was part of Kelly’s recommendation for community project funding.

“This funding could not have come at a more crucial moment for our city, and we acknowledge Congresswoman Kelly's dedication to Building a Better Harvey. This funding will enable us to acquire our first new engine in 18 years, a significant step towards improving our city's infrastructure. Furthermore, this funding will aid in our ongoing efforts to reduce blight, which is vital to transforming how our residents perceive our city. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Congresswoman Kelly to drive positive change in our community," City of Harvey Mayor Christopher Clark said in a release.

According to the City of Harvey, funds will be used to implement revitalization strategies including investing in infrastructure, demolishing vacant properties, incentivizing housing rehabilitation and new residential development, enabling equitable transit-oriented development, investing in "Complete Streets" and activating the city's parks and open spaces.

Kelly has been meeting with Mayors in her District and has plans to meet with other entities to inform them about the community projects. From there, entities can apply for the funds. With the Community Project Funding, each member of Congress can put up to 15 projects forward to receive funding. Congress members prioritize the projects. Projects also must have community support. Last year, all of Kelly’s projects were approved for Community Project funding.

“This will help save the Villages money. Help Villages improve their plight. We’ve helped improve healthcare facilities, starting STEM education, given resources to work on gun violence prevention. We’re really proud that we’ve been able to do this,” Kelly said.

Kelly has been working closely with Mayor Clark. Kelly took a tour of Harvey when Clark was first elected. She saw the needs of the city in regards to the lighting and blighted houses. Both of these issues are part of Clark’s Harvey Improvement Plan. Kelly acknowledges without the funds from the federal government, a lot of these communities would not be able to make these improvements on their own.

“The street lighting is a public safety and it makes the city look better. For the demolition, they can demolish the houses that have no hope of being saved and give them the opportunity of starting new or sell the land or have other business move in,” Kelly said. “It’s great to be able to help some of these communities that don’t have the money to completely help themselves. It’s great to be able to bring money back to communities to help them.”

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