The Woodland City Council received an update on the city’s American Rescue Plan Act spending plan and provided feedback to staff on the city’s proposed ARP funding allocations.
The law was signed into law last year in March and included $350 million for state and local governments to respond to the pandemic and recover lost revenue from the economic fallout.
The city will receive a total of $11.1 million in ARP funds in two equal installments, the first of which was received in June 2021, according to the city.
“To date, City Council has committed $4,140,000 in ARP-related funding; including $150,000 for Healthy Yolo Together COVID testing, $3 million for the Yolo Bypass Culvert Replacement Project, and up to $990,000 for the Crisis Now pilot program,” the city staff report said. . “The proposed spending plan allocates the remaining funding over the next three years.”
Funding for city-related expenses will go to community partnership projects and has been allocated by year through fiscal year 2024/2025.
The council organized a community survey in August 2021 to help inform its prioritization of ARP funding and used the results as a framework to decide what to fund among the council’s five priority areas;
- Revenue recovery.
- Response to the COVID-19 health crisis.
- Coping with the negative economic effects of COVID-19.
- Youth department.
Only 241 residents responded to the survey, which surprisingly showed relatively consistent funding recommendations for each category.
The updated spending plan allocated nearly all of the $11.1 million in ARP funds among priority categories over the four-year period authorized to spend the funds. This includes $3 million for essential services and public health and safety; $1.2 million for economic assistance and housing; $2.7 million for youth services, child care and community development; $3.5 million for infrastructure; $400,000 for sustainability.
Each category commits funds to several city projects such as the CRISIS Now pilot program, outdoor restaurant seating modifications, the creation of a boys and girls club and traffic calming in the neighborhood, according to the report. city staff.
Councilman Tom Stallard, who was part of an ad hoc subcommittee with Mayor Mayra Vega that developed recommendations for the spending plan, expressed his gratitude to the federal government for pulling “the leash” that had been initially imposed on cities regarding how to spend the funds.
“That conversation started six months ago and at that time we had pretty significant constraints and there’s a lot of things in that plan that wouldn’t be there,” he pointed out. “It’s taken a while, but I think the process has served us well in this jurisdiction and I look forward to seeing those items in the budget.”
The board took no action at its meeting, as the update was just an update on the work the city has been doing to allocate the funds.
“Developing the spending plan will continue to be an ongoing and iterative process,” the staff report notes. “Staff anticipate the development of agreements or memorandums of understanding for many of the collaborative efforts included in the plan and these agreements will be presented to the board as they are finalized.”