Mayor Rob Rolison has announced the creation of a website that enables the public to find out more about the federal American Rescue Plan Act, provide important feedback and track the city’s use of these funds.
The city has been awarded a total of $20.8 million from the ARPA — half received this year, the other half to be received next year — to offset some of the losses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are grateful the federal government took this step, and we intend to spend the funds wisely and to keep the public involved in and informed of the process,” said Mayor Rob Rolison.
The website explains the local decision-making methods, which include input from a task force, and it details the various reporting and compliance responsibilities placed on the city by the federal government. The city was assisted by Capital Markets Advisors, LLC, and Local Government Solutions, LLC, in developing the website.
The $1.9 trillion ARPA approved by the federal government can be used in certain designated categories, such as additional pay for workers during the pandemic, for public safety, for enhancements to city services, for community programs, for certain infrastructure projects and for lost revenue attributable to the pandemic.
Through the website, the city is detailing the ways it anticipates using some of the funds, including making improvements to city parks and pools, supporting housing services and community programs, putting resources into the IT system and replacing revenue that was lost as a result of the pandemic
With the click of a button, the public can find where these items are listed in the proposed 2022 budget.
Earlier this year, the city conducted one online survey regarding the ARPA, and this new portal features a second survey. The first survey drew 285 responses, and investments in infrastructure, economic development and community support services were among those favored by participants. The city wants to hear more from the community through this second survey, and the website also provides a timeline and key information about the ARPA itself.