A move to allocate more than $600,000 in federal Covid relief funding to repair the ceiling in the Binghamton city council chambers is drawing fire.

The city is expected to receive about $46 million in recovery assistance under the American Rescue Plan Act that was signed into law by President Biden in March.

Some people are criticizing the plan to spend $659,000 of the special funding to make repairs to the roof and ceiling in the council chambers. City council approved the move by a 4-to-3 vote Monday evening.

A meeting of the Binghamton planning commission in city council chambers on March 9, 2020. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Rebecca Rathmell, an advocate for the homeless in the Binghamton area, posted a message on Twitter expressing her opinion that "repairing a roof very much should *not* be considered for allocation."

Rathmell wrote that the acceptable use of the federal money would be to pay for "efforts that meet actual community needs, particularly for the residents of Binghamton who have too long been disproportionately impacted by racial housing and economic disparities."

Mayor Richard David in May said the "funding provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the City of Binghamton to catch up on major investments and identify critical needs within the community."

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 772-8400 extension 233.

For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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