Wayne County Commissioners today unanimously authorized a total of nearly $21.5 million in additional American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 projects to benefit students and seniors.
Approved recipients are:
• The Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency, which will receive up to $13.5 million to provide mental health counselors and reading and mathematics coaches in 32 public school districts, and charter schools, under its jurisdiction in suburban communities.
• The city of Livonia, which will receive $8 million to supplement construction of a new senior center, replacing the current center that serves city residents as well as those in other communities.
“These projects will impact thousands of lives, including those of some of our county’s eldest citizens to its youngest,” Wayne County Commission Chair Alisha Bell said. “Once again, the residents of Wayne County will benefit from the collaboration and determination put forth by various departments to see these projects through.”
RESA Supt. Daveda Colbert said the funds will be used to support ongoing efforts to overcome mental health and educational setbacks stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The support was needed pre-pandemic, but it was exacerbated by the pandemic,” Colbert said with regard to mental health issues.
Money approved for Livonia will cover a portion of a 25,000-square-foot expansion of the city’s Jack E. Kirksey Recreation Center. It is part of Livonia Vision 21, a community-wide plan to bring new residents and development to the city and create a downtown atmosphere at the city’s civic center.
“This is truly a transformative community project,” Livonia Mayor Maureen Brosnan said.
City officials noted that 22 percent of current center users come from outside the city.
Commissioners Terry Marecki and Glenn Anderson, who each represent parts of Livonia, said they were supportive of the project.
“Livonia shines in every project it does,” Marecki said during a Wednesday Commission Committee of the Whole meeting outlining the status of county ARPA projects.
The current facility “is one of the busiest senior centers I’ve ever seen,” Anderson said.