Council Recap: Major Crime Down in 2021; City Approves $350K In ARPA Funds

We begin our recap of the Feb. 2 City Council meeting with an update on crime in Wilmington.

Police Chief Donny Williams shared end-of-year statistics from 2021, compared to 2020 and previous years.

“Robberies have decreased by 34 incidents. This is the lowest robbery level since 2009. Aggravated assaults have decreased by 112 incidents. Violent crime has decreased by 133 incidents or 17 percent,” said Chief Williams.

For a detail breakdown of the statistics, click here.

Chief Williams also recognized the men and women of the police department for their hard work and thanked partner agencies for their continued support.

Next up, City Council keeping its promise to distribute American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to those in need.

Cape Fear Collective will receive a $250,000 grant to purchase and provide affordable homes in the City.

“For us, what it means is a guarantee of 2-3 units maintained at affordability, which is utilizing the HUD rates, for 20 years. So, our goal there is to have kind of a 3-4 times return on that $250,000 grant for additional affordable housing,” said Meaghan Dennison, the interim CEO of Cape Fear Collective.

In addition to Cape Fear Collective, Genesis Block will receive $100,000 of ARPA funding.

The Wilmington-based organization provides development services for early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs with a focus on minorities.

“There’s so much more demand, we can service so many more entrepreneurs and bring them into the community and turn them into viable businesses, but we have to get them trained at those early stages. The ARPA funds for us will give us that position, it gives us those resources to service those companies, it’s about 80 of them,” said Girard Newkirk, Genesis Block CEO.

This community investment is part of a larger effort to put $9 million of ARPA funding into economic and community assistance.

For more on Tuesday’s meeting, you can go here. City Council will meet again on Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m.

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