City of San Antonio Launches Investigation into COVID-19 Relief Funds – The City of San Antonio – Community News
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City of San Antonio Launches Investigation into COVID-19 Relief Funds – The City of San Antonio

CONTACT: Laura Mayes
[email protected]; 210-207-1337

Kristy Hernandez
[email protected]; 210-207-3919

SAN ANTONIO (November 18, 2021) — Starting today, residents can share their ideas for using COVID-19 relief funds through a short SASpeakUp survey. Several hundred residents have expressed their priorities for these funds during a series of town hall meetings in the city. The funds were allocated to the city through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Residents without internet access can call 311 to complete the survey. Feedback from the community will be shared with the City Council at a briefing on December 9, 2021. The City Council will ultimately adopt a plan for how these funds will be spent in January 2022.

“During several congregation meetings, we have heard many ideas about how to use these funds. Our residents have candidly shared how COVID-19 has affected them, from the loss of loved ones, isolation, mental health issues and financial turmoil,” said city manager Erik Walsh. “They also shared how they plan to use ARPA funds to meet immediate community needs and invest in long-term projects to help our community. I would like to invite everyone to participate in this research and share their ideas with us.”

The short survey can be completed by visiting www.saspeakup.com/arpasurvey. Residents can also call 311 to complete the survey. The survey is open until December 1, 2021.

The City of San Antonio received $326.9 million under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). ARPA funds are being provided to state and local governments to help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be allocated in two installments, the first will be received in May 2021 and the second will be received in May 2022. The funds must be mandatory before December 31, 2024 and spent before December 31, 2026.

The United States Department of the Treasury has four categories of eligible applications for ARPA funds.

  1. Response to the negative impact of COVID-19
  2. Government services to the extent of the loss of revenue
  3. Premium pay for essential workers
  4. Investment in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure

As part of its budget for the fiscal year 2022, the city has allocated $97.5 million in ARPA funds to stabilize the city’s budget and meet immediate needs. The balance of ARPA funds, amounting to $229.4 million, will be allocated with input from the Council and the Community.

In drawing up this plan, the municipality uses five principles, including:

  1. Address critical and urgent community needs
  2. Investments in one-off projects (issued until 2026)
  3. Transformation projects
  4. Investments to tackle inequalities and root causes of inequalities
  5. Take advantage of partnerships with partners