JAMESTOWN – A Jamestown City Councilwoman is calling for further discussions on Mayor Eddie Sundquist’s plan to spend the funds issued to the city under the American Rescue Plan.
Jamestown City Councilwoman At-Large Kim Ecklund (R), who chairs the Finance Committee, addressed her colleagues during a work session meeting Monday evening. Ecklund says that the Council and the Public need more from the Mayor in the plan.
“I’m also asking for a detailed budget of the ARPA funding,” Ecklund said. “Just like this budget (referring to the FY 2022 budget), we’re deserving of a full entitled budget to see where you came up with some of this funding and how that would be achieved.”
“I am faithfully requesting that in hopes that we can see a little bit more detail.”
Sundquist’s plan as proposed needs more “due diligence and discussion,” says Ecklund.
City Councilman At-Large Jeff Russell asked if the City is mandated to spend any of the money by the end of year, to which Comptroller Ryan Thompson answered, “No.” Thompson says that he’s learned that other villages and towns are also taking time to build a plan.
Sundquist, however, is advising the Council to construct a final plan sooner rather than later.
“If we are to implement any of the things discussed from the listening sessions, it’s going to take us at least three years just to get those things done,” Sundquist said. “We have to plan now and start to put those things in motion. We have to at least commit the funds and start to work on the projects by 2024 and fully expend the funds by 2026, or we’ll have to return those funds to the Treasury Department.”
Sundquist explains that the master plan is simply to determine how much money the city should spend in each category, rather than specific projects.
The City is expected to continue discussions on the plans, as well as the FY 2022 budget, in the next coming weeks.