Flint, MI– Mayor Sheldon Neeley is hosting the fourth public input session to discuss the American Rescue Plan Act funds this evening, March 8.

From 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Insight Institute of Neurosurgery & Neuroscience, located at 4800 S. Saginaw St., residents can voice their opinions about how they think the funds should be spent. 

Last year, the city learned that it would be receiving $94.7 million in ARPA funding as part of a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package intended to aid the country in recovering from the pandemic. 

While the money is COVID-19-related, the city can use it to tackle other public health issues, as officials explained at a previous meeting, so long as it fits within the eligible uses outlined in a 437-page document

The council and mayor have both been holding public input meetings to hear residents’ priorities for spending the funds, but have also approved some spending resolutions before those meetings have been completed. 

So far, the council has allocated about $6 million of the funds. First, the council voted to spend about $1 million for a one-year contract with a compliance firm to help ensure the rest of the funds are spent correctly. Then the council voted to allocate about $3 million to give premium pay to certain essential workers. 

Last week, the council voted to spend about $1.8 million to replace an old water main on Miller Road. The council is still considering allocating $600,000 to the North Flint Food Market project.

The mayor’s public input meeting is the last announced meeting for the administration. The council has one more meeting left to host, but a date and time have not yet been announced. 

Anyone unable to attend the open sessions can send questions or comments one of four ways:

• Send an email to input@cityofflint.com

• Mail comments to City of Flint Budget Input, 1101 S. Saginaw St. Room 203, Flint, Michigan 48502

• Write comments and drop them off at Flint City Hall in the red drop box in front of the City Hall entrance.

• Call (810) 237-2000. All callers will be asked to leave a message with their comments, which will be transcribed and included in reports with other submitted comments.

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...