The City is trying to determine how to use $7 million of federal stimulus funds - formally known as the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) - and is seeking community input.
ARPA, a $1.9 trillion national economic stimulus bill passed by Congress in March, aims to help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are restricted to certain types of programs or expenditures and are subject to time limits. Specifically, the City must have “obligated” (signed a contract or otherwise agreed upon spending) the funds by December 31, 2024; all funds must be spent by December 31, 2026.
The Council in June approved guidelines for how the money should be spent: to achieve long-lasting benefits, to support projects that would not be accomplished without a large one-time sum, to promote fiscal and environmental sustainability and to avoid cost reoccurrence.
Staff presented a list of proposed projects to the Council last month related to water and sewer infrastructure upgrades, nonmotorized transportation improvements, climate mitigation projects, affordable housing and emergency response infrastructure upgrades. Staff refined the list based on Council feedback, and is now seeking public input on our Engage Bainbridge page to prioritize projects. Please review the projects, then let us know how you think the grant funding should be used.
The projects include:
- Winslow water tank replacement
- Water system climate resiliency upgrades
- Wastewater treatment plant near-term capacity upgrades
- Wastewater beneficial reuse
- McDonald Creek culvert/Springbrook Creek mitigation at High School Road & Fletcher Bay Road
- Springbrook fish passage on Fletcher Bay Road
- Stormwater/nonmotorized transportation demonstration project
- Sustainable Transportation Plan implementation set-aside
- Madison Avenue sidewalk/bike lanes project
- Affordable housing
- Premium pay for child care workers
- Solar panels on emergency hubs/shelters
- Buy or lease space to medical group to improves health care access (September 13 update: This proposal is not eligible for ARPA funds)