He said ARPA was passed to “to respond to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19) or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits….”
Pozzuto said in the spirit of ARPA, council felt it was best to use the initial funds to provide direct assistance to the city residents and businesses, because every single person and business was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The city felt that this was the most direct way to provide assistance to our residents and businesses utilizing the federal ARPA funds we are to receive,” Pozzuto said. “City staff discussed many ways to positively impact the community, and we felt this approach was the most efficient and quickest way to accomplish the first step of that goal, by providing economic relief to every resident and business in the city.”
He said the city encourages the use of this one-time savings to help stimulate the local economy.
“We encourage everyone to use the savings this month to go out to eat at our local restaurants, shop downtown or donate to a local charity of your choice,” Pozzuto said. “We know many of our residents have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and we hope this small measure of relief can help.”
He said a decision how to utilize the remainder of the money will be discussed at the city’s annual Capital Improvements Program meeting later in the year, but more than likely will be used to reinvest in additional infrastructure.