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Posted on: November 19, 2021

City of East Lansing Seeks Citizen Input on Use of American Rescue Plan Act Funds

Press Release

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The City of East Lansing has been allocated close to $12.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and is currently seeking input from East Lansing citizens on how that funding should be used.

ARPA is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill and, within the act, the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund has been established to provide direct funding allocations to states, counties and municipalities for response to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or its negative economic impacts. Per federal guidance, the allocated funds must be used to:

  • Support public health expenditures, by, for example, funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare and certain public health and safety staff
  • Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries and the public sector
  • Replace lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors
  • Invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and to expand access to broadband internet

To date, the City of East Lansing’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has included a variety of support programs and funding assistance, including business support grants, waived business license fees, waived utility fees, housing/rental and utility funding assistance, downtown placemaking efforts, free downtown parking, support to social service agencies and more.

In creating a draft plan of proposed projects/expenditures for the ARPA funding, City of East Lansing staff focused on intentional uses for the funds that would create long-lasting improvements for the community. Staff also considered the impacts from the pandemic, including City revenue losses, and aligned certain proposed projects with the City’s strategic priorities and master plans. Based on the ARPA calculation, the City is projected to have more than $20 million in revenue losses as a direct result of the pandemic over a four-year period, from 2020 to 2023.

East Lansing citizens are encouraged to review the City of East Lansing’s Draft ARPA Plan (PDF) and share their input on the proposed projects/expenditures at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EastLansingARPA. The survey also provides an opportunity for residents to share their own ideas for how they think the funding should be used. Written feedback can also be mailed to:

East Lansing City Council
410 Abbot Road
East Lansing, MI 48823

The deadline for survey responses and written feedback is Friday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m.

“The pandemic has had a significant impact on our community and, while we have navigated it carefully, there have been substantial revenue losses for the City of East Lansing,” said East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas. “With the help of citizen feedback, we look forward to working with the East Lansing City Council to finalize a plan for these funds that will help to meet many of our unmet needs while also providing long-term improvements and support for our community.”

All community feedback will be shared with City leadership, including the East Lansing City Council, and will be taken into consideration prior to the City’s ARPA Plan being finalized. The City’s allocated ARPA funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024 and must be spent by December 31, 2026.

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