Mukilteo, Wash., – Community members were invited to a virtual town hall to share ideas as to how Mukilteo should consider the $4.6 million it will receive through the American Rescue Plan Act.
The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act package includes the allocation of $350 billion in emergency funding dispersed to state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments for coronavirus recovery. $130 billion of that is set aside specifically for local governments to split between municipalities and counties.
The April 27 town hall was held to begin discussions regarding how the funding could be spent. The city is permitted to use funds to focus on recovery from the coronavirus pandemic but has yet to receive specifications as to if there are restrictions as to what the money can be used for. The city expects to receive specific details in May.
Funding is flexible, says the city, and according to the legislative package, American Rescue Plan Act funds may be used to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its economic impacts, provide government services to the extent of reduced revenue due to COVID-19, or make investments in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure.
Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson stated that she’s already held a focus group with the Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce, business owners, nonprofits, as well as city leadership and department directors. Public input was desired as well to inform Mayor Gregerson and the Mukilteo City Council on how to use spending to invest in the community.
Ideas generated at the community town hall and focus group range from funneling funds into community health, increasing diversity in the community and city communications, city services, infrastructure and environment, community safety and economic recovery.
“I hope to fuel a successful recovery from the pandemic, for our residents and businesses alike,” Gregerson told the Lynnwood Times. “I’m excited about the opportunity for transformative change and looking forward to the ongoing conversation in identifying our priorities. This will likely be a multi-year process, as we identify early projects, and others that will take place in 2022, 2023 and 2024.”
Funds dispersed to Mukilteo from the American Rescue Plan Act must be used by December 31, 2024.
Mayor Gregerson and staff will continue to gather ideas for use of the funds and will be reviewed against the guidance received in May. A preliminary proposal as to how the funds could be used will be created and the topic will be discussed at one or more upcoming Land Use and Economic Development Committee meetings. The full Council will discuss fund distribution at the June 5th retreat.
Community members can provide feedback and suggestions for funding at firstname.lastname@example.org.