DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Dayton City Commission approved $4.3 million of ARPA funds Wednesday night to funnel directly into the West and East side communities.

City Commissioners say these areas were prioritized from resident’s input on how they should use federal emergency COVID-related funding.

“I don’t think any of us would choose to go through the pandemic but four years ago, to invest in the opportunity we have in our neighborhoods wasn’t present,” said Commissioner Darryl Fairchild.

With $138-million in federal funding, Dayton City Commissioners say the pandemic has given them a once in a lifetime opportunity to funnel thousands back into our own communities.

Homefull received $2.5 million for a project on the 800 block of South Gettysburg Avenue where Carlson Elementary School used to sit. Now, a 14,000 square-foot full service grocery store will be built that will supply a farmers market, healthcare clinic, community education center and pharmacy. Once construction begins, the grocery store will be built within 12-to-18 months to complete.

Then, the city approved giving East End Community Services $1-million to help fund a new family service hub and wellness center located in the Twin Towers neighborhood in East Dayton. In addition to the new center, some of the funds will also go towards the Ruskin School Common Project’s new design and landscape plan to build a new entrance to the school from Xenia Avenue.

“It’s been the area that’s also been hit hard, just like the West Side the East Side has been the area that’s been hit hard with job loss and individuals moving out so they’ve been an anchor and done great things in the community,” said Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton received $800,000 to repair 80 homes in Carillon, Miami Chapel, Wolf Creek, Five Oaks, and Old North Dayton neighborhoods.

Mayor Mims says it makes sense to invest in the East and West sides of the city, once improvements are made he’s hopeful more developers will invest in a brighter future.

“What that does for us is not only help those individuals but show more and more competence to those investors out there with dollars to invest in Dayton,” said Mayor Mims.