Common Council Has 7 Times The Ideas As It Has Funding
82 ideas for how to spend $394.2 million federal grant. What will council choose?
There is no shortage of ideas from the Milwaukee Common Council on how to spend the remaining $179.7 million first allocation from the city’s federal American Rescue Plan Act grant. The City Clerk‘s office published the council’s 82 proposals representing $1.41 billion in spending (and 366 pages of documentation).
The ideas are both old and new, big and small. Some are new and flashy, like creating an indoor soccer complex. Others are the basics of government, like buying new police squad cars or garbage carts.
The plans were intended to address the city’s first tranche of its $394.2 million ARPA allocation, but many of the proposals would last through the whole grant period (2026). Barrett also has his own administration proposals to spend some of the money, including replacing lost revenue and to hiring 195 police officers in three training classes. The council has already allocated approximately $18 million from what was a $197 million allocation, with funding going towards addressing an ambulance shortage ($4.7 million), hiring attorneys for those being evicted ($1.8 million), combating reckless driving ($7.15 million) and the city’s Earn and Learn high school employment and training program ($3.8 million).
Five proposals, totaling $484 million, attempt to do what is effectively the same thing: rehabilitate city-owned homes and get them into the hands of residents. But each one includes a nuanced take, be it a different scale or a different combination of funding allocations to city programs. Council members Robert Bauman and JoCasta Zamarripa are the lead sponsors on the proposals. Bauman has advocated for similar proposals since the city first learned it would be getting the funding.
Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic has a $13.3 million, multi-faceted proposal aimed at expanding the number of childcare providers by focusing on training young men of color for the work and providing grants and support other providers. She also has a $10 million proposal to expand and restore the city’s urban tree canopy, a $500,000 parklet grant program, a $2.7 million bicycle infrastructure proposal, a $3.2 million lead safe proposal and a $1.4 million energy efficiency proposal.
Ald. Milele A. Coggs is proposing to allocate $15 million to a participatory budgeting initiative, which would in effect allow citizens to make direct choices on how that pot of money is spent.
Council President Cavalier Johnson has two proposals to allocate money to the Westlawn Gardens affordable housing redevelopment ($12 million total) and another to allocate $1.3 million to the Earn and Learn high school employment program. But that’s not all, Johnson has the greatest number of proposals. In fact, more than 25% of the amendments have the council president listed as the lead sponsor. But half of the proposals are items that were in Barrett’s $93 million Stronger Summer plan that the council held off acting on.
Proposals from Ald. Chantia Lewis would fund the administrative costs of establishing a universal basic income pilot proposal and the startup costs of the Office of Veterans Affairs.
The award for the smallest proposal, $18,171, goes to Ald. Khalif Rainey. The money would be used to survey residents of the 53206 ZIP Code, which has the highest incarceration rate of any Wisconsin ZIP code and is among the city’s most impoverished, to determine what they want the money spent on. The city would mail physical copies of the June 2021 online survey.
Ald. Russell W. Stamper, II has a series of proposals aimed at everything from city beautification to traffic calming.
Other proposals target improving street lighting reliability ($10 million), violence prevention ($16.8 million), restoring and expanding the urban tree canopy ($10 million) and funding the administrative costs of a universal basic income program ($400,000). One reflects why the federal government created the program in the first place: a $10 million allocation to continue to address the city’s COVID-19 response.
There are four proposed omnibus proposals, representing $459.9 million of the proposed total. Each has the backing of different council members and includes some of the proposals also proposed individually.
Council Mark Borkowski and Ashanti Hamilton are the only council members not to be listed as a lead sponsor of an amendment. But Hamilton appears as a co-sponsor on a handful of amendments, while Borkowski’s name does not appear in the 366-page document.
The city’s Department of Administration, in a letter sent Oct. 11, is encouraging each proposal to be resubmitted using the administration-approved ARP Request Form. The form was used by city department heads to submit requests to the mayor. “The ARP Request Form was created to ensure that city departments follow the rules promulgates by the federal government at every step including when making ARP requests. The questions included int he form largely align with ARP compliance and reporting requirements,” wrote department director Sharon Robinson, budget director Dennis Yaccarino and chief equity officer Nikki Purvis. “Because the scale of the ARP is enormous – and not simply because of the amount of money involved – it is important that every decision maker within City government exercise great diligence when making ARP requests.”
A full copy of each proposal is available on Urban Milwaukee.
Full details on each proposal can be found in the above-linked PDF.
|1||Omnibus – Johnson/Murphy||Johnson||DOA; DCD; City Clerk; Fire; Health; Library; Mayor; DNS; Police; DPW||$171,117,670|
|2||Omnibus – Zamarripa||Zamarripa||DOA;DCD; Fire; Health; Mayor; DNS; DPW||$124,550,477|
|3||Omnibus – Perez||Perez||DOA-CDGA; DCD; DNS; Mayor; Health||$96,859,478|
|4||Omnibus – Stamper||Stamper||DOA; City Clerk; DCD; Mayor||$67,360,000|
|5||Continued Response to COVID||Murphy||DOA-OAAA; Fire; Health; Library||$10,000,000|
|6||Fiscal Sustainability||Johnson||DOA-OAAA; ITMD; DPW; City Clerk; Fire; DNS; Mayor; Health; Library||$83,367,193|
|7||Century City Clean Energy Jobs||Kovac||DOA-ECO||$2,700,000|
|8||ECO Green Lot Pilot Program||Kovac||DOA-ECO||$100,000|
|9||Modular Home Manufacturing||Kovac||DOA-ECO||$1,000,000|
|10||GHHI Initiative||Kovac/Perez||DOA-ECO; Health||$28,050,477|
|11||Energy Efficiency Upgrades||Dimitrijevic||DOA-ECO||$1,400,000|
|12||Urban Tree Canopy||Dimitrijevic||DOA-ECO; DPW Ops||$10,760,000|
|14||Affordable Housing||Zamarripa||DOA-CDGA; DCD; DNS||$180,000,000|
|15||Affordable Housing||Zamarripa||DOA-CDGA; DCD; DNS||$40,000,000|
|16||Affordable Housing||Bauman||DOA-CDGA; DCD; DNS||$77,500,000|
|17||Affordable Housing||Bauman||DOA-CDGA; DCD; DNS||$150,000,000|
|18||Affordable Housing||Bauman||DOA-CDGA; DCD; DNS||$36,500,000|
|19||Translation Services||Zamarripa||DOA-ITMD; City Clerk||$1,000,000|
|20||Language Translation Services||Johnson||DOA-ITMD; City Clerk||$600,000|
|22||Skillful Transitions Job Training||Kovac||DOA||$3,000,000|
|23||Employment & Job Training||Johnson||DOA||$4,775,000|
|24||Home Security Cameras||Zamarripa||DOA; Police||$1,000,000|
|25||Food Center Grants||Perez||DOA||$500,000|
|27||Spatialest Sub A||Spiker||Assessor||$141,000|
|28||Spatialest Sub B||Spiker||Assessor||$666,715|
|31||Indoor Soccer Complex||Perez||DCD||$1,000,000|
|32||Partnerships in Affordable Housing||Stamper||DCD||$3,000,000|
|33||Affordable and Sustainable Housing||Johnson||DCD; HACM||$4,400,000|
|34||Rental Housing Resource
|37||Earn and Learn||Johnson||DCD||$1,300,000|
|39||Parklet Construction Grants||Dimitrijevic||DCD||$500,000|
|40||Child Care||Dimitrijevic||DCD; Mayor||$13,309,001|
|41||Direct Connect||Coggs||City Clerk||$4,026,669|
|42||Participatory Budgeting||Coggs||City Clerk||$15,000,000|
|43||Universal Basic Income||Lewis||City Clerk||$400,000|
|44||Office of Veterans’ Affairs||Lewis||City Clerk||$200,000|
|45||53206 ARPA Survey||Rainey||City Clerk||$18,171|
|46||Retroactive Hazard Pay||Spiker||DER||$2,571,741|
|47||Retroactive Hazard Pay||Johnson||DER||$2,571,740|
|48||Lost Revenue||Spiker||Fire; Library, Mayor, DNS; Police||$27,216,193|
|49||Cont’d COVID Response and Adaptation||Spiker||Health||$6,000,000|
|50||Violence Prevention Response||Coggs||Health||$16,800,000|
|51||House Call Emergency Mental Health Diversion||Kovac||Health||$1,080,000|
|52||COVID Mask Mandate
|53||Reduce Childhood Lead
|55||Mental Health Preventative Care and Crisis Intervention||Stamper||Health||$1,080,000|
|56||Positive Parenting Program (PPP)||Johnson||Health||$1,457,621|
|57||Lead Safe Program||Dimitrijevic||Health||$3,200,000|
|60||MPD Non-Sworn Staff||Spiker||Police||$900,000|
|61||Traffic Calming||Stamper||Police; DPW-ISD||$350,000|
|63||Traffic Calming Special
|64||Street Lighting Circuit Reliability Improvement||Johnson||DPW-ISD||$10,000,000|
|68||Self Help Fee Elimination||Dodd||DPW-Ops||$6,500,000|
|69||Weekend Box Program||Dodd||DPW-Ops||$700,000|
|70||Sanitation Wage Study||Dodd||DPW-Ops||$20,000|
|71||Family Food Access||Johnson||DOA||$2,000,000|
|72||Ethnic & Diverse Coalition 01||Johnson||DOA-OEI||$2,500,000|
|73||Racial Equity Training||Johnson||DOA-OEI||$1,000,000|
|74||Climate, Energy & Equity
|75||HOME GROWN Victory Over Violence Park||Johnson||DOA-ECO||$200,000|
|76||Business Restart 3.0||Johnson||DCD||$7,500,000|
|78||Violence Prevention – 414 Life||Johnson||Health||$3,000,000|
|79||Early Childhood Education – Dual Enrollment K12||Johnson||Mayor||$310,000|
|80||Early Childhood – Men of color Mentorship||Johnson||Mayor||$1,200,000|
|81||Compliance Loan Program||Johnson||DNS||$3,000,000|
|82||The Big Clean||Johnson||DPW-Ops||$2,310,000|
- Transportation: Construction Underway on Traffic Calming Projects - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 12th, 2022
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Seeking Affordable Housing Developers Who Need Funding - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 25th, 2022
- Transportation: Milwaukee Seeks Partners On Project Lowering Speed Limits - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 1st, 2022
- City Hall: ARPA Funds Can’t Plug City Budget Hole - Jeramey Jannene - Jun 15th, 2022
- Plats and Parcels: City Seeks Firms To Transform Vacant Homes - Jeramey Jannene - May 1st, 2022
- Transportation: DPW Plans Surge of Traffic-Calming Bump Outs - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 26th, 2022
- City Hall: Federal Grant Could Help Stave Off 1,300 Layoffs - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 14th, 2022
- Transportation: DPW Unveils 16 Traffic Calming Projects - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 2nd, 2021
- City Hall: Committee Recommends Few Budget Amendments - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 28th, 2021
- City Hall: Council Adopts $179 Million Rescue Plan Package - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 21st, 2021
Read more about American Rescue Plan Act here