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American Rescue Plan Act Discussion at Council Caucus

Aug 29, 2022

Cleveland (Aug. 29, 2022) - Council members and representatives from the administration discussed American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) spending plans during a more than four-hour Council caucus today.

The city of Cleveland received the eighth highest amount of any municipality in the country at more than $511 million. Council has already allocated about $200 million of ARPA funds last year.

“The federal government deemed we had an emergency,” said Council President Blaine A. Griffin. “While we want to be thoughtful in how we allocate this funding and we wanted to wait for the new administration, we now must move forward and make decisions to help residents and businesses.

“We believe we can introduce and pass legislation for these allocations in September.”

Spending recommendations council had previously agreed upon were included in the discussion as well as administration priorities. The discussion centered on allocating more than $102 million in the ARPA funding. That leaves more than $200 million in ARPA funding still to be decided. US Treasury rules require all ARPA funding to be obligated (contracted) by December 31, 2024 and all funds must be expended (spent) December 31, 2026.

Council’s recommendations discussed earlier this summer had been geared toward what remained in the first half of the ARPA funding the city received. Cleveland has now received the second half and the areas of agreement and amounts have changed to reflect that.

For council, home repair programs and construction gap financing were high on the list of projects to be funded, as well as programs that help adult and child victims of domestic violence, rape and other traumas. Council also included funding for Right to Counsel that gives families facing eviction free legal help, a program that council leadership established several years ago.

The discussion also included additional safety equipment, including expanded Shot Spotter technology and dash cameras for all police cars.

“I’ve been advocating for these dash cams for years,” said Councilman Mike Polensek, chair of the Safety Committee.

Adding funding to Opportunity Cle Fund, a $50 million fund that supports development project in low-income Cleveland neighborhoods, was also something council advocated for.

While much was agreed upon, legislation must be written and council members will discuss these allocations in the committee process, and they could be changed. And there will be additional meeting concerning allocating the rest of the ARPA funding.

Attached is side by side comparison of where Council and the administration’s agreed in ARPA funding.  A list of the funding under discussion.