Saginaw residents are invited to attend an upcoming ARPA Open House to speak informally with members of City Council on the use of ARPA funds and to provide feedback on what they want to see prioritized with the $52 million in federal funding.
The events will take place in Council Chambers at City Hall, 1315 S. Washington Avenue, on Tuesday, November 2 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and also on Friday, November 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Various council members will be available throughout the events to discuss the ARPA funding with residents. No appointment is necessary.
“We want to be sure we are following the guidelines of the federal government for the use the funds, but also focusing on programs and projects that are priorities for our residents and businesses,” said Mayor Brenda F. Moore. “ARPA funding provides a unique opportunity to build on these priorities and invest in Saginaw’s people, neighborhoods, and businesses. I invite city residents to stop by City Hall and provide their input on the use of ARPA funds.”
The funding is a part of H.R. 1319, or The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The plan provides additional relief to address the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals and businesses. The City of Saginaw was allocated $52 million from the plan.
The federal funding guidelines require that programs and projects must be tied to one of the following allowable uses and be obligated by Dec. 31, 2024:
∙ Support public health response;
∙ Address negative economic impacts;
∙ Replace public sector revenue loss;
∙ Provide premium pay to essential government employees; and
∙ Make necessary investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.
In August, the City launched an online survey to receive feedback from residents and community organizations on how to spend the $52 million in funding. On September 17, 2021, a Strategic Planning Session was held to identify priority investment opportunities and review community survey results. The session served as a starting point for the city council’s discussion on how to utilize this once-in-a-generation money.
At this time, the City has not established a process to plan and allocate funds, and will not be committing to any projects during the open house events. Once official final guidance is provided from the Department of Treasury, City Council will work on a process to determine the best manner in which to proceed.
“While we await the final guidance from the Treasury, it is important that we continue the conversations with our citizens. We realize some residents may not want to address council formally at a public meeting; however, we want to make sure their voices are heard. This is their opportunity to sit down with a council member for a few minutes and provide their input on the use of the funds. City Council will not be making any decisions at these events, we are simply here to listen and to receive feedback from residents.”– Brenda F. Moore, Mayor.
For additional information on the Open House forums, contact the City Manager’s office at (989)759-1403. Please visit our website or Facebook page for up-to-date information on ARPA funding and all upcoming public forums in which ARPA funding will be discussed.