SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The City of Schenectady could soon see new improvements. City Council voted on Monday to approve $14.6 million in American Rescue Plan funds for city projects focused on food security, infrastructure and public resources.

11 projects are approved with the most funding going towards a new Central Park pool, irrigation system for the Schenectady City Municipal Golf Course, construction of the Capital Region Aquatic Center, revitalizing the Carver Community Center and a new job training facility.

The city will also fund Schenectady Little League, food security programs and SAFE House.

City Councilman John Polimeni was the only person to vote against approving the funds.

“I just didn’t think the process was very fair and equitable,” Polimeni said. “It ended up being, in my opinion, a payoff to my colleagues political supporters. We had a chunk of money and instead of looking at all the applications they chose their certain ones that were their favorites.” 

He said the process to review and discuss projects was uneven and did not allow for committees to decide on the best ideas for the city.

“Some applications received no reviews, some had full reviews,” Polimeni said. “They were segmented into different categories so there was no way to cross compare so the review process in itself was very flawed.”

Polimeni said going forward, he wants the process to be more transparent and projects to focus on big picture improvements for the city based on resident concerns.

“City projects like these parks are a community project,” Polimeni said. “These parks are often neglected and they need some serious help. The roads, the sidewalks, those are things you hear about from people in the community all the time and those weren’t even considered.” 

The city has until December 2024 to allocate the remaining $20 million in American Rescue Plan funds.