The city of La Crosse still has millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act to spend. 21.7 million dollars…that’s the amount of money the city of La Crosse received from the American Rescue Plan Act. Ten percent is earmarked for non-profits. 700 thousand was spent to house the city’s homeless at a hotel.
Some of the money has been used to account for lost revenue and restoring city jobs. Even with those commitments, millions of dollars are still available, with a limited time to use them.
“We have to have the funds committed by the end of 2024, and they have to be all spent by the end of 2026, and that seems like a long time, but when we start talking about larger projects that involve contractors, or multiple contractors, that scheduling can take a little while,” said Mayor Mitch Reynolds.
A resolution before the city council on Thursday breaks down how the remaining funds will be allocated. Most of the remaining money will be used for updating or improving infrastructure. Other areas that will see projects funded: housing, childcare, and help for small businesses.
“We actually saw record numbers of people coming for our services, and a lot of people were new business owners, or people looking to start new businesses,” said La Crosse SBDC business consultant Mike Walker.
Mike walker with UW-La Crosse’s small business development center hopes the money can help with difficulties many business owners are still facing.
“There are still some businesses that are struggling, especially in the areas of restaurants, and personal services, things like that.”
Each spending category is rather broad, so Mayor Mitch Reynolds is looking for feedback on projects the money should fund. “Feel free to call me anytime, feel free to send me an email, send me your ideas, go to our website, we have a portal there for community input, let us know what you think and what we should be doing.”
All projects that request ARPA funding will need to be submitted to the city council for approval. The city council has been meeting with a facilitator to determine the biggest areas of need for the city. The public has also been providing input since July on projects they would like to see funded.