Kettering to prioritize how to spend $6.9M in COVID-19 American Rescue Plan Act funds

KETTERING — How the city spends nearly $7 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds is expected to be decided in the coming months.

Kettering City Council has received $6.92 million of the $130 billion plan for local governments nationwide signed by President Joe Biden for COVID-19 relief.

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Council currently has “no consensus” on categories, said Kettering Mayor Don Patterson, and decisions on how some of those funds will be allocated will be made within 90 days.

“We should have a much, much better idea in three months and probably (sooner) than that,” Patterson said. “And we’ll get it down to a shorter list and decide how we’re going to prioritize that list — how much money we’re going to dedicate for that.”

Patterson said his main priority will be projects or programs most impacted by the coronavirus.

“We don’t’ want to duplicate,” he added. “We don’t want somebody to get a lot of money and somebody (else) to get nothing. We want to help as many people as we can.”

The city expects to receive about the same amount next year, Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman said.

Other local cities also receiving rescue plan funding include Dayton ($138 million), Fairborn ($6.8 million) and Springfield ($44.2 million), according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Kettering expects the coronavirus shutdowns to affect revenues due to restrictions causing job and business losses, Schwieterman said.

“We certainly are anticipating lost revenue over the four-year period that the American Rescue Plan relates to. We don’t have a dollar estimate as of yet,” he said. “But the premise is that the (ARPA) funds will be used to replace lost revenue during the time period.”

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Kettering council approved Tuesday night a resolution accepting the federal money, which can be used in a variety of ways, according to the treasury department.

“We are working with you and with staff to begin the process to develop plans in regards to how we might spend the…money over the next several years,” Schwieterman told council.

The funds can help offset “revenue losses they have experienced as a result of the crisis,” the department states on its website.

It can also be used to “help them cover the costs incurred due responding to the public health emergency and provide support for a recovery — including through assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits, aid to impacted industries, and support for essential workers,” according to the website.

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