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Marion looking for community input on how to spend ARPA funds
The city will receive around $6 million, plans to apply for Linn County funding as well
The city of Marion has launched an online survey to ask residents how the city should use American Rescue Plan Act dollars.
The survey, available now, will be open through Nov. 24 on the city’s website.
“The funds are intended to help the community respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery,” assistant to the city manager Amal Eltahir said. “Community input will help inform the city’s budget process and effective distribution of these funds.”
The city has already identified five possible uses for the funding in Marion, but is looking for feedback from community members on how best to spend the money. The city will receive a little more than $6 million in ARPA funding over the next two years.
The American Rescue Plan Act, passed earlier this year by Congress, is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill meant to speed up the U.S. economic and health recovery from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The five potential city uses that fall in line with the rules of ARPA are sanitary sewer upgrades and improvements, housing assistance for qualified homeowners or renters, transit service improvements, water infrastructure and nonprofit and impacted industry assistance programs.
Earlier this week Linn County and the City of Cedar Rapids launched an online request-for-proposals process at cr-linnarpa.org for organizations, including other city governments, to apply for a share of federal ARPA funds. The deadline to apply is noon Jan. 7.
The first round of funding will be a combined $14 million with $11 million coming from the county and $3 million from Cedar Rapids. Overall, the county will receive $44 million in ARPA funds and Cedar Rapids will get its own $28 million in total.
Eltahir said the city intends to apply for Linn County funds as well, but the city doesn’t have a program ready to go yet as it’s currently in the process of getting community input.
“For example, we are discussing housing assistance programs with EICOG as a partner in implementation,” she said. “The goal is to leverage other dollars and capitalize on partnerships to maximize the impact.”
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