ROCKLAND — Rockland is asking its citizens to vote on how to spend $30,000 of American Rescue Plan Act money, on projects proposed by members of the community.

Rockland received $756,737 from federal municipal ARPA funds, and in December 2021 the City Council voted to set aside $30,000 of those funds to use in projects proposed and approved by citizens.

“The committee is delighted with how many creative, diverse proposals we received,” Councilor Sarah Austin, who serves as a liaison between the Council and Committee, said in a news release issued Sept. 12 by the Committee. “All of these projects are very worthy of funding, and we hope everyone eligible will vote to support their favorite proposals.”

Community voting takes place from Thursday, Sept. 15 through Thursday, Sept. 22. Votes can be cast online at rocklandmaine.gov/rebound, or via paper ballots at City Hall and in the Rockland Public Library. Rockland residents age 12 and up may cast a ballot, voting for one proposal in the $10,000 category, and for up to four proposals in the $5,000 category. Details on voting eligibility are available on the project Frequently Asked Question page. People who vote are asked to provide their address.

Proposals on the ballot are (in no particular order):

  • Winter heating assistance funds for Rockland residents in need.

  • Improving and maintaining Rockland sidewalks, and increasing ADA accessibility.

  • Support the Rockland Rotary Club’s construction of an Inclusive Playground for children and adults of all abilities at MacDougal Park.

  • Maintenance and upgrades for the Friends House residence of the Midcoast Recovery Coalition.

  • Support the work of The Landing Place in serving youth at high risk of experiencing unstable housing, food insecurity, and other adversity.

  • Support the work of the Coastal Children’s Museum to offer environmental and marine science-related activities for local children.

  • Support the work of Trekkers to offer youth mentoring and leadership training through outdoor, experiential and travel-based education.

  • Support the work of the Restorative Justice Project Maine in the Knox County Community Justice Hub to to implement strategies for improving community safety and belonging while reducing substance-use-related crimes.

  • Support conceptual designs and planning of the skate park portion of the Rockland Area Multiuse Park.

  • Plant fruit and nut trees for public access and community harvest to fight food insecurity.

  • Support the ongoing creation of the Waterfront to Wilderness Trail by the Georges River Land Trust, Sidecountry Trails, and the City of Rockland.

  • Support the work of the Knox County Homeless Coalition via supplying backpacks filled with immediately useful items for people experiencing crisis.

  • Support and expand the free youth sailing programs at the Apprenticeshop.

  • Support the work of Out Maine by funding local trainings for community provider professionals on Building Welcoming and Inclusive Communities for LGBTQ+ youth.

The volunteer Participatory Budgeting Committee developed the parameters for the proposals and voting. Please direct any questions to rocklandrebound@gmail.com.