Green Bay’s finance committee approves framework on using COVID relief funds

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 10:11 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2021 at 10:33 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Over the past few weeks, Green Bay’s mayor has hosted listening sessions and taken comments from the public on how to use the $23.7 million the city received as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

On Tuesday, members of the city’s finance committee approved a framework on spending the ARPA funds.

“Let’s do something significant with some of this money. Something that’s going to impact this community long-term and not just take care of fiscal holes that have been created by issues in the past,” Green Bay Alderperson Bill Galvin said.

As part of the framework, committee members agreed to divvy up the funds into categories with $6 million for affordable housing development and small business support; $2 million for police and crime prevention; and $3 million to invest in storm water, climate resilience, and green infrastructure.

Forty-five percent of the $23 million, $10 million, will go to capital needs such as roads and bridges and organizational priorities. Around $1.5 million is allocated for tourism and arts/culture.

But Mayor Eric Genrich made clear that the framework isn’t binding and the federal Covid-19 funds could go to other priorities.

“It will be up to council and department heads and other city staff to co-create the details of those buckets of dollars,” Genrich said.

The distribution of the money will be spread out over three years out of concern for inflation.

“There is not necessarily an urgent need to pump more resources in the economy to induce a recovery. I think we’ve seen the big economy bounce back a lot more rapidly then many of us anticipated,” the mayor said.

The ARPA framework will now go before the Green Bay Common Council for a vote on December 7.

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