ON YOUR SIDE: Following COVID-19 money in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - It’s a tall order. Springfield city leaders need to find the best ways to spend millions dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act.
In the spring, Congress passed that $1.9-trillion federal aid package. Springfield’s piece of the pie is $40 million.
The Springfield City council approved $8 million for the health department for the pandemic response. The rest is up for grabs.
“We want to spend those dollars in the most beneficial way to the largest number citizens that have the greatest impact. So we can look back a decade or two and say we were able to accomplish this,” said Collin Quigley, Springfield Deputy City Manager.
The money can go to essential workers, households, small businesses, non-profits and investments like water and sewer.
“There’s criteria, but it doesn’t say you shall spend it in all these areas. It’s very broad,” said Quigley.
No rainy day fund. The money must be spent by 2026.
“It’s tough. I think it’s going to be a challenge for most cities, counties, state, everyone who is receiving these funds. There’s a lot of competition out there for the architects, engineers, the materials,” said Quigley.
City council will examine community needs and make the final decisions. Surveys will soon be in five thousand mailboxes.
“They certainly want to make sure that they are following the general population and their thoughts on how to spend funds,” said Quigley.
Part of the $40 million covers checks and balances.
“We’re employing BKD to audit this as we go. It will be something they’re involved with from the front end.”
You can voice your opinion at city council meetings or email the city.
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