Topeka City Council talks uses for American Rescue Plan money

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 10:29 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Topeka City Council began their discussion Tuesday on how the city can use its more than $45 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money.

Projects are grouped into several categories including Emergency Public Health Response, Revenue Loss and Water and Sewer Infrastructure.

City Manager Brent Trout said residents should see a difference with funding.

“When I look at it, these projects are all potentially good for the city,” he said.

“It’s all about the priorities in which of these projects is the most important, we have a list of projects and it’s really a matter of narrowing down which are the best projects to do.”

Proposals for use of funding include offsetting the loss of tourism dollars in NOTO, adding a mental health professional at the Topeka Police Department, replacing the ventilation systems at city hall and COVID basic needs assistance.

Trout said spending guidelines for ARPA funds support some of the suggestions.

“You look at the regulations that are there regarding how the funding can be spent and that gives you guidance as whether any of these projects are eligible,” he said.

“We look at that when you look at the impact for neighborhoods that occur to individuals that’s how you can look at affordable housing as an option.”

He hopes residents will see the money put to good use.

“They’ll see a number of projects occurring in their neighborhoods potentially and see the list of things offer to them and assist them if they have an impact related to COVID,” he said.

“That’s how they’ll see the impact of that use of funding.”

View a list of possible projects that could be funded: ARPA Funding Project List (Draft) - October 1, 2021.

Trout encourages anyone with suggestions or comments to email him or their city council member.

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