The Finance and Personnel Committee will take up Mayor Barrett’s initial spending plans, along with other proposals submitted by Council members, for part of the city’s $394 million federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding allocation during a special meeting the first week of September.

Called the “Summer Jobs for Youth & Stronger Summer Package,” the Mayor’s first (more than $90 million) plan was made public on Tuesday, July 13.

Alderman Michael J. Murphy, chair of the Finance and Personnel Committee, said the proposals will require more review than the Mayor’s original plan to have the first spending proposals come before the committee on July 21, with expected passage at the July 27 Common Council meeting.

“I look forward to reviewing the proposals carefully and meticulously, as do other Council members. Giving us five working days prior to the committee meeting to digest these proposals is not adequate or fiscally wise,” Alderman Murphy said.

“We (committee members) will be doing our due diligence throughout August to weigh each item carefully and constructively, not only to ensure the ARPA funds are used to help us recover from the damage done by the pandemic, but also to make improvements that are long overdue to help strengthen the city and to help our constituents,” the alderman said.

Common Council President Cavalier Johnson said he will continue pushing for an ARPA spending process that is fair and includes built-in accountability.

“Just as we have a defined process for deliberating the city budget each fall, I believe it is essential that we also have a standard process when deliberating the allocation of ARPA funds,” President Johnson said.

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