San Antonio has received $229.4 million in federal funds through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). It will hold a series of community forums to solicit public opinion on using the money.
However, there are few concrete plans for the federal funds since city personnel recommended holding workshops first to get community input on funding priorities. Council members highlighted small business support, additional pay for frontline workers, funding children’s foster care, and street upkeep as beneficiaries during the city council briefing on Wednesday.
Total Amount To Be Received From ARPA
Through various programs, the city will be receiving a total amount of $465.5 million from ARPA. More than half of it ($326.9 million) will be allocated on fiscal recovery, and the remaining amount will be given by May 2022.
The fiscal recovery money will be used for many purposes, like compensating for budget shortfalls, paying for the pandemic’s public health response, premium paying for key workers, and water, sewage, and broadband infrastructure projects.
The City Spending Plan on the Following Years
The $97 million budget is expected to cover lost revenue in the fiscal years 2021, 2022, and 2023, leaving $229.4 million to be decided on. The funds must be distributed and spent by December 2024 and December 2026, respectively.
City officials have already suggested that another $50 million be set aside to cover the costs of a “worst-case” COVID-19 response scenario, which expects two more spikes in cases. A total of $10 million would be set aside for unanticipated circumstances.
According to municipal staff, the remaining funds should be distributed between community needs – such as utility assistance, the arts, and small business – and “impactful investments” in areas such as mental health, domestic violence, homelessness, and infrastructure.
You can also see The City of San Antonio Recovery Plan Performace Report here.