Ald. Michael Murphy
Press Release

Council approves transparency file for receipt and distribution of ARPA funds

 

By - May 4th, 2021 01:09 pm

Today the Common Council adopted amended legislation designed to provide greater transparency and inclusiveness in the city’s receipt and distribution of historic federal coronavirus relief funds. The file (#201571) was authored by Finance and Personnel Committee Chair Alderman Michael J. Murphy, and also co-sponsored by Common Council President Cavalier Johnson.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 includes more than $400 million for the City of Milwaukee. To promote transparency in the allocation of those funds, Alderman Murphy and President Johnson brought forth legislation to create a public-facing dashboard that will track how and where ARPA funds are distributed. 

Additionally, a public survey will be formulated to receive detailed input on ranked preferences from citizens on how the funds should be used.

“I greatly appreciate the support of my colleagues on this important file, as we are dealing with a substantial opportunity which could correct some of the damage that has been caused by COVID-19 over the past year,” Alderman Murphy said. “The $405 million we will receive as part of the American Rescue Plan Act needs to be utilized to the best of our abilities, and I am elated that we have now moved one step closer to getting these funds equitably distributed.”

“As officials discuss the best uses for these dollars it is vital that residents provide their priorities and also have information on how, where and when they can see an impact. We should be striving for maximum transparency, and I believe this legislation helps accomplish that goal,” said Alderman Murphy. 

“Distributing these funds in the most transparent way possible is key for people to understand this process, and trust that we are doing everything we can to help them through this crisis,” President Johnson said.

An amendment on the public survey was approved to require the Department of Administration to work closely with the City Clerk’s Office in formulating survey questions. That amendment was brought forth by Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic.

“I look forward to hearing from every Milwaukeean about how they want us to rebuild our city so it’s stronger than it was before the pandemic and so all of us can thrive,” Alderwoman Dimitrijevic said.

Following a motion from Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, the file was amended further to require any Department of Administration ARPA allocation plan to be submitted in writing to the Common Council for approval. 

Additionally, an amendment from Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II, was also approved. That amendment requires the Department of Administration to solicit ARPA allocation and expenditure priorities from Council members, to compile responses provided by Council members, and provide the compiled responses to City departments to assist departments in developing their own requests for ARPA funding. 

Additional co-sponsors of file #201571 are: Alderwoman Dimitrijevic, Alderman Stamper, Alderwoman Coggs, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman José G. Pérez, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd, Alderman Mark A. Borkowski, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, Alderwoman JoCasta Zamarripa, Alderman Nik Kovac and Alderman Scott Spiker.

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