Plans to spend $26.5 million include infrastructure, public safety, social service programs and more
City Council members on Monday, Oct. 10, approved a resolution adopting the City’s plan for allocating $26.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Following numerous planning sessions and meetings with City staff, council members, Mayor Mike Thoms and the results of a public survey, ARPA guiding principles were established to allocate funding to projects and programs meant to have positive and long-lasting impacts for the City.
Infrastructure (water and sewer upgrades) scored the highest among stakeholders who completed the survey.
ARPA funds are not allowed to be spent on pension costs, to offset reductions in net tax revenue, rainy day funds, general infrastructure such as road repairs (unless specified), debt service, legal settlements or judgements.
Some of the projects and programs ARPA funds will be used for by the City of Rock Island include:
$1.4 million -- Mill Street Anaerobic Digester Rehabilitation
$1 million – Road repairs. Although road repairs are not considered an eligible category under restricted funds, there is some money in the unrestricted fund to allow for road projects (minimal). Road repairs were identified in the comment section of the public survey as a major need.
$2.6 million -- Southwest Treatment Plant influent pump station. The steel drywell needs to be replaced and new pumps installed as the steel of the drywell has deteriorated to the point of structural integrity, compromising the drywell. If the station were to fail, the wastewater generated by homes and businesses would overflow at the pump station and back up into wetlands and basements.
$1.5 million -- Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). By automating the meter reading process, this eliminates future liabilities and costs for the City. Rock Island is one of the only cities in the area that still manually reads water meters. This project would also allow the finance department to bill monthly and allow the water leaks to be identified sooner, which benefits our residents.
$2.2 million – New city-wide software
$2.5 million – Downtown Rock Island revitalization
$1.2 million – For funding a portion of demolition of the downtown parking garage and construction of a new parking lot in its place.
$750,000 – Support to businesses. Assistance to businesses was identified as one of the top five priorities among public survey respondents.
$550,000 – Funding for public safety, including $250,0000 for police hiring, retention and recruitment and $300,000 for additional public safety in areas of crime. Public safety was identified as one of the top five priorities among public survey respondents.
$250,000 – Funding for programs to assist with homelessness in the City
$250,000 – Funding for programs to assist with mental health
$250,000 – Funding to boost tourism and in turn, the local economy
$200,000 – Funding for Denkmann Park basketball court resurfacing and ADA compliant paths