JAMESTOWN – At this week’s city council meeting, Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist unveiled his distribution plan for the $28 million the municipality received part of the American Rescue Plan Act.
Of that amount, $14 million was acquired back in May and is in the hands of the city; with the Mayor saying the rest will be paid out in May 2022.
Sundquist is hopeful that the funds will kickstart economic development and lay the groundwork for what he calls “a shot in the arm.”
“It can’t be used to plug a hole in the budget. It can’t be used to fill a hole in the pension line. It can’t be used for debt, but it can be used for various projects of which frees up funding in our budget line for other things,” Sundquist says.
The major areas of funding include Economic Development, Lost Revenue, Housing and Mental Health Funds, Water/Sewer and Broadband Projects, and Transparency and Tracking. Lost Revenue is based on a formula that calculates losses over a four-year period.
Sundquist explains, “Every year, at the end of the year, we can immediately take lost revenue and apply it to general services, whether that’s to roads, construction projects, to parks.”
“Any lost revenue category can be immediately be applied,” said Sundquist. “So tomorrow, the council can make a budget adjustment, take approximately $1 to $2 million we’ve already accrued for 2020 and apply it to projects tomorrow.”
The city has until July 1, 2024 to commit to spending projects and by 2026, it must be completely expended. Otherwise, the money will be returned to the Treasury Department.
Sundquist says that the city is partnering with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to host four listening sessions across the city. The purpose is to inform the general public about the spending.
If you would like to learn more about how the American Rescue Plan is impacting Jamestown, visit jamestownny.gov.