FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City’s American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Review Committee, comprised of Mayor Pro Tem Matthew Simpson, Councilmen Andy Lear and Abe McGull and Councilwoman Heather Hardinger, has recommended 16 projects out of the more than 50 funding requests totaling more than $210 million. City Council, at its July 11 meeting, will hear first reading of two ordinances to allocate the funds.
Renew Jordan Creek (Stormwater project)
Cooper/Killian Park Projects Total:
Cooper Soccer Complex Turf
Cooper Baseball & Killian Softball Upgrades
Art Museum Education Wing
Ozark Greenways: Chadwick Flyer Trail Development
Historic City Hall Renovation
City-Wide Housing Study
MSU request for funding for Grand St. underpass
Restore SGF project
Boys & Girls Club / FosterAdopt Connect Teen Center
Housing/Homeless Projects Set Aside (Additional to $5.3 million in CDBG-ARPA Funds)
Family Connects Program
Ozark Empire Fair Youth Agricultural Education Center
Burrell 24/7 Mental Health Help Hotline
Springfield-Greene County Library District (Library Center Community Space, Midtown Carnegie and Library Station Renovations)
OTC request for Airframe & Powerplant Maintenance facility
Two important notes: six of the above listed projects involve state matching funds. Also, the total dollar amount available for homeless/housing will be approximately $12.3 million, when combined with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) ARPA funds.
ARPA is a $1.9 trillion federal aid package passed by Congress in March 2021 to provide financial aid to families, governments, businesses, schools, nonprofits and others impacted by the pandemic. Of that $1.9 trillion, $350 billion is going to state and local governments as part of the Fiscal Recovery Fund. The City of Springfield received just over $40 million.
Funds must be obligated by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026. One of the council bills sets aside $7 million in homeless/housing projects that remain to be recommended by the City Council ARPA Review Committee. The committee anticipates additional meetings and discussion/recommendations for City Council’s formal approval in the upcoming months.
Initial allocations for pandemic response, employee retention
City Council at its Aug. 23, 2021 meeting allocated $8 million to support the Springfield-Greene County Health Department for continuing COVID-19 critical services, as recommended by the ARPA Review Committee. The committee is now recommending to amend the funds to be set aside for potential COVID-19 response to $3,026,290. This funding allocation will remain for COVID-19 pandemic utilization unless/until these funds are reallocated by City Council for other ARPA projects, as funds become available.
On Jan. 24, 2022, the council approved the use of ARPA dollars for retention pay for all full-time Fire Department, Police Department and Health Department staff.
A community survey was conducted last fall to determine funding priorities for the ARPA funds.
The four-page questionnaire was mailed on Sept. 27, 2021 to 5,000 randomly selected households living within the city limits of Springfield. Results were based on 1,438 completed questionnaires (1,237 mail and 201 online). Overall findings have a +/- 2.6% of error (95% confidence interval).
The funding categories ranked in order of importance are:
- Public safety and crime prevention (55%)
- Homeless and housing services (40%)
- Community health and wellness (37%)
- Premium pay for essential workers (36%)
- Stabilizing and revitalizing neighborhoods (29%)
- Quality of Life (29%)
- Economic recovery and growth (24%)
- Public facility preservation and enhancement (22%).
Cities can use ARPA funds to:
- Respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts;
- Provide premium pay to eligible workers;
- For the provision of governmental services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to COVID-19; and
- Invest in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.
Cities cannot use ARPA funds to:
- Offset a reduction in taxes;
- For deposits into pension funds;
- To fund debt service;
- To fund legal settlements or judgments;
- For deposits into rainy-day funds or financial reserves.
For more information, videos and materials, visit springfieldmo.gov/arpa. Media requests are directed to Cora Scott, 417-380-3352, or [email protected].