Green Bay asks for input on use of ARPA recovery funds
By Heather Graves
GREEN BAY – The City of Green Bay is asking for public input on how to spend its portion of the $350 billion in COVID-19 relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
With more than $23 million of pandemic relief funds at its disposal, the city launched an online survey asking residents and community stakeholders to weigh in on what they think the dollars should be used for.
“It is a very unique opportunity that we have in front of us in the form of $23.7 million, thanks to the federal government, so, we certainly want as much input as possible in that decision-making process,” Mayor Eric Genrich said.
The survey asks residents to rank their priorities using a 1-5 number scale based on importance.
• Affordable housing and economic development efforts in eligible neighborhoods.
• Support for arts and culture initiatives to attract tourist activity.
• Violence prevention and crime suppression.
• Investments in infrastructure and programs to build climate resilience and fight flooding.
Residents can also include comments, as well as attach supporting documents.
When filling out the survey, city officials ask participants to keep in mind the city’s mission: “The City of Green Bay: Champions of Community, Livability and Opportunity and its five strategy themes: balanced and equitable community development, employee recruitment and engagement, commitment to service excellence, 21st century infrastructure and long-range fiscal strength and sustainability.
To weigh in on how the city should spend its ARPA funds, visit greenbaywi.gov/1133/COVID-19.
In addition to the survey, Genrich will host two budget town halls in October to again seek public input.
The first meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Corporate Conference Center.
Attendees should park in lot F and enter through door 7.
The second meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the UW-Green Bay University Union Phoenix Room.
Masks are required at both meetings.
Genrich said both meetings will be held in a hybrid format with access available in-person or online.
“My priority is ensuring residents have a voice in how the city should focus these investments,” Genrich said. “This is an unprecedented opportunity for the City of Green Bay to invest in its residents by funding initiatives that will improve their everyday lives. It allows us to improve housing options, support small businesses, build more climate-resilient infrastructure and improve city services.”
The city will receive half of the ARPA funds in 2021, and the rest in 2022.
ARPA funds must be allocated by the end of 2024 and spent by 2026.