LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Mayor Greg Fischer's spending proposal for the first round of American Rescue Plan (ARP) spending dollars would address immediate needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ARP funding is giving the city of Louisville a total of $388 million, and the first round of spending would include about 10% of that.
Mayor Fischer says his plan is to spend the initial $38.9 million to address three key immediate needs:
- COVID-19 Health Needs
- Vulnerable Resident Stabilization Needs
- Economic Recovery
"This is round one of the funding release," Fischer said. "I want to stress that this round of the funding is focused on urgent needs that we can act on quickly."
The breakdown of the funding allocates about $13.1 million to COVID-19 Health Needs. That need is broken up into several elements including vaccination activities, childcare emergency and safety supplies, suicide prevention and residential services for substance abuse and addiction.
An additional $16.25 million will address residential needs such as court eviction diversion programs, utility and rental assistance programs and emergency food distribution support.
"This next year to two years possibly ... we as a city have to be prepared for what could potentially come," said Tameka Laird, director of the Office of Resiliency & Community Services.
Laird said the city is expecting thousands of eviction notices in the coming months. The office helped 23,000 residents with housing needs during the pandemic.
"They are trying to figure out 'What should I do? What should be my next steps? How can I get help and support right now?'" she said, adding that the city is still determining the criteria for who will receive aid in the upcoming round of funding.
The remainder of the initial spending, $9.63 million, will focus on the city's downtown economic core. Funding will support marketing funds and downtown event coordination.
"We have an opportunity with these funds, to tackle some of these challenges that, for too long, have been holding many of our residents back," Fischer said Thursday.
While the city's proposal initially focuses on current and immediate needs, the mayor stressed that there are plans for long-term spending.
"When you think about spending, think about this announcement today as short-term, we'll be coming out with some mid-term announcements for mid-terms projects and long-term projects as well," he said.
Additionally, the city announced it's adjusting its revenue forecasts for fiscal years 2021 and 2022.
The forecast for 2021 reflects am $11.5 million increase in revenue, and an additional $6 million in 2022.
The mayor is proposing the $11.5 million from 2021 be carried over into the budget for 2022. He says it will be used to stabilize public safety funding wages, fund professional services related to the city's DOJ investigation, fund Public Works projects and help cover the half-year shortfall in Corrections receipts for the loss of inmate telephone fees.
To give feedback on how you think the city should spend the $388 million ARP funds, visit this link: lousivilleky.gov.
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