“This is not a once-in-a-year or once-in-a-decade opportunity” to spend money on community projects, he said. “This is a once-in-a-century opportunity to be judicious and to allow us to do some good in the community.” Council President Gregg Hixenbaugh said the short presentation at the meeting will explain the guidelines for spending the money before the public will be able to pitch its ideas. Public money:St. Joseph County meetings on spending COVID money may have broken state’s open-door law
The City of Mishawaka is among the governmental entities in the county that’s set to receive a portion of the $130 billion COVID-19 relief package signed into law in March by President Joe Biden. The Common Council announced an informational meeting for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in the council chambers at City Hall. It will be broadcast on the city’s Facebook page.
A ‘once-in-a-century’ opportunity A work session for that is coming up.
Other area governmental organizations are also in the midst of deciding how to spend their share of the federal dollars. The South Bend Community School Corp. is set to receive $92.7 million in federal pandemic money to spend in the next three years. District officials say they plan to prioritize academic improvement, infrastructure and support for educators in future spending. How are other communities spending ARP funds?
“This is going to be a collaborative process,” he said Monday. “I am confident this will not be the last opportunity for the public to have input.” Hixenbaugh envisions the Sept. 27 meeting to be a time to generate ideas and to solicit proposals from partner agencies. He said it’s likely the council’s standing committees and the city administration will then later meet publicly to devise a list of recipients for the money.
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