Ald. Coggs introduces file to discuss ARPA spending engagement plan
Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs has introduced a communication file asking the administration to present their plan for engagement with the community and members of the Common Council in regards to allocating funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). The file – cosponsored by Alderman José G. Pérez and Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd – is being sent to the Finance and Personnel Committee and could be heard at a future committee meeting.
Before ARPA funds are allocated in Milwaukee, Alderwoman Coggs said the city should consider:
- Conducting public surveys on preferred funding needs, targets and priorities (as has been done in Nashville and other cities)
- Conducting quick public surveys at COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites, or seek input through door-to-door canvassing
- Examining information residents have already shared about their priorities during comments on social justice files, in Community Collaborative Committee recommendations and in other platforms
- Examining how previous COVID-19 CARES Act dollars were spent and any improvements that could be made (or even the work groups mentioned today by the Mayor) – all are all possible ways to aid in community engagement on how best to allocate the money
- Adopting a direct plan on engagement to make it likely the money will be used in ways that have the greatest impact for all residents.
“These are just some of the ideas and possibilities that could be considered, and I expect there will be more that will be coming forward,” Alderwoman Coggs said.
The ARPA signed into law last week allocates more than $400 million for the City of Milwaukee. The City expects to receive more than $200 million from the stimulus bill by early May, with an equal amount following about a year later. Local governments must spend the money from the federal bill by the end of 2024.
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