City of Lowell’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Projects

Posted on March 22, 2024

How did Lowell select projects to fund?

Projects were identified by City of Lowell staff and City Council using the City Council’s Strategic Vision, which includes the following goals:

  • Continuously improve and expand water, sewer, and stormwater infrastructure
  • Continuously improve and expand City streets and sidewalks
  • Develop and update public facilities
  • Enhance multi-generational Parks and Recreation activities
  • Develop land use master plans for targeted areas

Project Spotlights

Purchase of Indoor Recreation Facility $494,777.15

The City of Lowell is excited to announce a major milestone in the city’s ongoing efforts to enhance recreational opportunities for all ages and foster a healthier, more vibrant city.

View the full press release.

Before photos

Conceptual rendering of the future exterior

Purchase of Property for Future City Hall and Police Department $310,418.50

The City’s current City Hall was built in 1958 and has served the City of Lowell well for the past 65 years, but it needs many updates: additional office space for employees, more parking for both employees and visitors, and increased meeting space. The Police Department building is in a comparable situation and needs building updates, more office space, and additional parking.

View the full press release.

Conceptual rendering of aerial view of future City Hall and Police Department Complex

Community Center Repairs $100,000

Formerly known as the Lowell Teacherage, the Lowell Community Center is located at 503 W. First St. in Lowell and is a Designated Gaston County Historic Property. It was built in 1924 by the then-Lowell School District, which was part of the Gaston County School System. The purpose of this facility was to house teachers when the local school was in session. In the summer of 1968, Gaston County, Gastonia, and Cherryville school systems merged, and it was decided that the Lowell teacherage could no longer operate since the other schools within the system did not have teacherages. The City of Lowell obtained the building in 1969 for the purpose of a community center that would be used for community meetings, civic group meetings, classes, and as a rental space for special events. Some repairs have been made throughout the years but the building has been in dire need of updating, specifically the kitchen.

Before photos of the kitchen

After photos of the kitchen

City Hall Downstairs Interior Remodel and Exterior Signage $85,000

The downstairs of City Hall once housed both the Police Department and the Fire Department. As both Fire and Police moved into their own buildings, the downstairs of City Hall was primarily used for storage. Many updates were needed to make the downstairs inhabitable for office space, including heating and A/C, new flooring, painting, a bathroom, and new lights. A break room for the facility was also created in the remodel that included a refrigerator, cabinets, and a sink.

Before photos

After photos

McCord Family Park $55,000

An empty grass lot and the public’s request for more downtown events sparked the idea for this charming park in downtown Lowell’s heart. Despite its modest size, this park holds a wealth of natural beauty and community spirit, serving as a cherished retreat from the everyday hustle and bustle. During the lunch hour, the park transforms into a gathering place for those seeking a bit of fresh air to eat their mid-day meals among the scattered benches and picnic tables throughout the park. It has become home to downtown City-sponsored events, including the Music in the Park series, BBQ Cookoff, the Fall Festival’s Kid’s Zone, the Tree Lighting Ceremony, as well as several pop-up events during the year.

Before photo

Grass lot across from City Hall

After photos


Carolina Thread Trail Match $50,000

On March 28, 2023, the Carolina Thread Trail awarded the City of Lowell $127,080 to construct a trail connecting George Poston Park, the future Lowell River Park, and the River Heights neighborhood with the sidewalks on North Main Street. The City of Lowell will match this grant award with $50,000.

Read the full press release from the Carolina Thread Trail

More information on the Carolina Thread Trail in Lowell

Downtown Land Use Master Plan $30,000

A downtown master plan provides a comprehensive roadmap for revitalizing and enhancing the urban core, fostering economic growth, community engagement, and sustainability. By addressing a wide range of issues and opportunities, the plan can create a vibrant, inclusive, and resilient downtown that serves as the heart of the city. The master plan combines the City Council’s goals and objectives, development trends, and the wants and needs of the community into a document to be used as a tool for re-zoning guidance for future development.

View the Downtown Master Plan here


Parks Master Plans $20,000

Harold Rankin Park Master Plan

Following several public input meetings and surveys in 2021 and 2022, a site-specific Master Plan was developed for Harold Rankin Park, which would be utilized to apply for grant funding.

The Master Plan will be implemented in phases as funding is available or secured.

Phase 1 of the project includes upgraded restroom facilities, a nature trail, pickleball courts, a bocce ball court, a new half-court basketball court, conversion of land to a multi-purpose field, and a playground expansion with upgrades. The playground will be designed to be universally inclusive, and the restroom facility will be ADA / ABA compliant.

Future improvements will include ballfield bleachers, dugouts, fencing, a batting cage, parking and access improvements, paving and relocation of the northern entry drive, a new concessions/restroom building, and an additional shelter.

In the summer of 2023, the City of Lowell was awarded a total of $1,000,000 in grants for the Harold Rankin Park revitalization project. The first of the two $500,000 grants was awarded by the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF.) The second of the two $500,000 grants was awarded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF.) Both the LWCF and the PARTF grants require a 50/50 match however, these two grants match each other, with no match requirement on behalf of the City of Lowell.

View the Harold Rankin Park Master Plan here

Bob Bolick Park Master Plan

Following several public input meetings and surveys in 2021 and 2022, a site-specific Master Plan was developed for Bob Bolick Park, which would be utilized to apply for future grant funding.

The Master Plan will be implemented in phases as funding is available or secured.

View the Bob Bolick Park Master Plan here

Mailer/Inserter Machine and New Utility Bill Format $18,084.05

The new utility bill format will allow the City of Lowell to provide additional information to residents that is not able to be provided on the current postcard size utility bills due to lack of space. The additional information will include more detailed billing information as well as an explanation of charges and payment options. The mailer/inserter machine will also allow the City of Lowell to insert a second page insert each month that can serve as a monthly newsletter that would replace the quarterly newsletter so that residents can receive more frequent, updated information.

Mule ATV and Trailer for the Police Department $11,000

In August, 2023, the Lowell Police Departments administration was notified that the Lowell Volunteer Fire Department were going to be selling their 2015 Kawasaki Mule UTV, and the trailer used to store and transport the unit. The Lowell Police Department administration found both units to be in good, working condition. The Kawasaki Mule is to be utilized by the Police Department immediately, responding to calls at George Poston Park for search and rescue missions as well as off-highway calls the police respond to, which have been increasing steadily.


Montcross Emerge Program $10,000

Montcross Emerge was a targeted community and economic growth program initiated by the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce. The program was focused on providing relief funds to assist small businesses in Lowell as they emerged from the negative economic consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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