Rome’s Common Council recently approved a handful of Mayor Jacqueline Izzo’s eleven recommendations for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. 
Izzo proposed the eleven recommendations in late April.  
The council spent the last several weeks hosting workshops on the proposals and passed several projects at its Wednesday, August 9 meeting
Those projects included $3 million towards renovations of the intensive care unit (ICU) at Rome Health, $369,000 for water and sanitary service installation on Potter Road-NYS Rt 26 to Rome-Westernville Road, $950,000 to cover renovations at Rome’s Art and Community Center, and $575,000 towards the city’s residential program. 
The council also passed $500,000 for a design and engineering plan at the Rome train station. 
“The council spent considerable time and energy getting the required information to evaluate these projects,” Third Ward Councilor Kimberly Rogers said, reading a statement on the funding proposals on behalf of the council. 
Fourth Ward Councilor Ramona Smith was the only no vote on the resolution allowing for the ARPA funding.  
Smith specifically singled out the funding for the railroad station and questioned why all the projects were lumped together in a single resolution. She made a failed motion to separate the railroad station from the rest of the proposals, before ultimately voting against the whole block. 
A large crowd, consisting of many hospital officials and representatives, attended the council meeting, with most speaking in favor of the $3 million proposed project. 
Council President Stephanie Viscelli said the crowd was amongst the largest to attend a council meeting 
“A well-equipped ICU that is able to respond to the healthcare needs of a community is a need, not a want,” Rogers said. 
Rome Health sent out a statement thanking the council for the funding shortly after the meeting. 
Rome Health’s current ICU is 55 years old and undersized for today’s technology and the delivery of patient-centered care, the hospital said. The new $6.6 million ICU will be designed to enhance the experience for patients and their families while supporting the care team in delivering advanced life-saving care.   
The new ICU will be constructed above the new Rome Health Surgery Center, which is expected to break ground in November pending state approval, the hospital said. 
“We are grateful to the members of the Common Council for approving the $3 million allocation of federal relief funds for a new ICU for our community,” said Rome Health President and Chief Executive Officer AnneMarie Czyz in a statement.  “We appreciate all the time that the Common Councilors invested as part of their due diligence to learn about the need for the new ICU and the positive impact it will have on our community.” 
The Rome train station suffered severe damage when the ceiling collapsed in July 2018. The city built a temporary secure pedestrian walkway in the tunnel area so passenger service could resume. 
However, not much more has been done at the station since.
Izzo talked about the ongoing discussion over who owns what at the station between the city, Amtrack and CSX. 
The ongoing territorial issues were the main issue Smith had with the funding proposal. 
Other councilors brought up the delay in fixing the issues and a mold and mildew smell in arguing for the projects passing. 
“It’s been five years since the collapse and it must be a priority of the administration to see it resolved,” Rogers said. 
Speaking on the Rome Arts & Community Center, Rogers said the center is city owned and has needed repairs for quite some time. 
“We have not reached a point where repairs are critical,” she said. 
The money for the city’s residential program was reduced from the original $1.2 million asked for by Izzo.  
The funding could change after the program is initiated, the council said, noting councilors wanted to see how the program worked first. 
The allotment for the Potter Road work also was reduced from the $400,000 originally asked for by Izzo. 
This was done to keep it in line with how other private developments received city funds, the council said. 
Rome was awarded almost $25 million in American Rescue Plan Act in the summer of 2021. The city has received approximately half of the funding.  
The Common Council voted unanimously in June to use almost $3.5 million in ARPA funding to demolish the James Street Parking Garage and replace it with a surface lot with greenspace.     
The city already has spent approximately $2 million in ARPA funding to support the Rome Fire Department with the purchase of a new 100-foot tower truck and replacement of Engine 1.    
On March 9, the Common Council passed a resolution allowing the transfer of $343,500 in ARPA funding to a capital account. These funds will be used for the contract with Dodson and Associates to prepare the design and plan of the new water infrastructure at the Woodhaven site.  
Overall, the city plans on using almost $4 million in total in ARPA funding for various infrastructure work in the Woodhaven housing area on Park Drive. 
In late April, Izzo submitted 11 recommendations for use of the remaining ARPA money.  
The recommendations are as follows:  
The council is still holding workshops for some of the projects and those recommendations not yet addressed could be looked at in the future. 
Izzo applauded the council passing some of her ARPA funding requests but spoke out against some of the cuts in her proposals. 
The mayor accused the councilors of being more interested in election year politics the helping residents in regards to the cuts to the residential rehabilitation program. 
Izzo said almost 40 people reached out to the Home Ownership Center regarding the program since its proposal in April. 
She also spoke out against the money for the train station engineering plan, stating CSX owns a portion of the pedestrian bridge area and noted the city cannot work on privately owned property. 
“I am thrilled that the Common Council authorized funding my ARPA projects at last night’s meeting,” Izzo said in a statement released the day after the meeting.