Duggan Announces Allocation For $400M American Recovery Act Funds

There’s $400 million at stake that could change the city of Detroit through federal American Recovery Act Funds (ARPA) shortly.

On Tuesday, May 25, Mayor Mike Duggan held a virtual citywide community meeting where he outlined key areas of priority, which kick-offed a series of 25 community engagement meetings in 25 days to gather ideas and resident feedback on how to spend the money. A schedule of meetings, which will be open to any resident, will be posted early next week on the city’s website and updated as sessions are added, according to the city’s website.

Attendees during the over-hour-long meeting voted on potential spending priorities with the money.

Meeting notices will also be distributed through city email subscription lists, the Department of Neighborhoods, and city social media accounts. City Council will need to appropriate the ARPA funds and approve any contracts for which ARPA funds will be used. The ARPA funds will be available during 2022, 2023, and 2024 fiscal years and must be spent by December 2024.

The act, approved by the United States government, provides necessary funding to families and significant investments in critical areas. It also provides vital resources for cities to meet COVID-related challenges.

Duggan said that the funds would help Detroit be “an equitable city,” and the funds could offset potential deficit through 2024.

“Last year we made major COVID budget reductions — that needs to be restored,” Duggan said.

He shared during the meeting that ARPA funds cannot pay off pension fund payments, debt, or past legal obligations.

“It has to be invested in new services for our residents,” Duggan said, adding that spending the America Rescue Plan dollars is “just the start of the conversation” that he is looking forward to getting the ball rolling.

“What we’re asking right now is let’s set the vision for the community,” Duggan said.

Duggan added that he would like to see the funds used to address the negative impacts of COVID-19 and rebuild a more vital and more “equitable economy” as the country, and city, recover.

“Address systematic economic challenges of low-income communities and people of color,” Duggan said. “Last year, we saw the racial disparities in the healthcare system … and the racial injustice system. “All of that comes back with the fundamental inequities between Black and whites in our economy.”

Duggan said that “this is a chance for us to rectify a lot of wrongs” if done correctly.

“By and large we should be building a city that is inclusive and equitable with this money,” Duggan said, adding that his proposal, along with his staff input, includes several components that could get Detroit back on track.

“The final version will look very different,” Duggan said of the approved plan down the road.

Duggan’s $426 million plan involves investing to:

  1. Fight intergenerational poverty – $100 million
  2. Restore neighborhoods – $100 million
  3. Parks, recreation, cultural facilities – $100 million
  4. Improve public safety – $50 million
  5. Reduce digital divide – – $50 million
  6. Small business assistance – $26 million

Detroiters who called in shared their priorities over Duggan’s ideas – some of their top concerns include fighting intergenerational poverty and restoring neighborhoods. Some of their lower priorities included improving public safety and small business safety.

Duggan also made clear that the money cannot go toward an ongoing expense because the money will be gone in 2024.

“If someone wants to say, ‘Hire 200 more firefighters we can’t do it — these have to be expenditures complete in three years (so we) don’t have a permanent deficit,” Duggan said.

For more information, visit here https://detroitmi.gov/.

About Post Author

From the Web

Skip to content