Flint, MI— Last month it was announced that the City of Flint would be receiving about $99 million in COVID-19 relief from the American Rescue Plan. 

Since then, residents have been wondering where that money would go, and if they will get a say in how it is spent. 

On April 27, Mayor Sheldon Neeley and Chief Financial Officer Shelbi Frayer will be hosting a community update at 5 p.m. to provide information about the funds, including how residents can submit their ideas for where the money should go. 

According to a press release from the City, the update will be broadcast live on the City of Flint Facebook page and YouTube channel. Following the event, it will be shared on the City of Flint website.

“We will continue to make sure that resident voices are heard. We value community input as the foundation of what we do every day,” Mayor Neeley said in the release. 

Frayer has discussed some of the restrictions and designated uses for the funds during a public hearing for the proposed budget for upcoming fiscal years. 

At that meeting, Frayer said the funds are primarily to be used to respond to the public health emergency and negative economic impacts on households, small businesses, and nonprofits. Frayer said it looks like the funds cannot be used as direct pension payments, or to “offset any sort of tax revenue” the City would be receiving. 

During budget hearings for the Blight, Police, and Fire budgets, Councilman Eric Mays proposed using some of the funds to increase wages for employees and support those departments. At the last council committee meeting, the council decided to set a special meeting to discuss with the residents how they would like to see the money spent, but a date was not set.

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...