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How much will Citrus Heights get from the latest federal stimulus bill?

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Updated 5:30 p.m., March 15–
Sentinel staff report– President Joe Biden’s signing of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan on Thursday means Citrus Heights will be getting millions in relief funding, giving the city’s struggling budget a short-term boost.

But exactly how much Citrus Heights will receive from the $350 billion allocated to state and local governments isn’t known.

“The estimate I have heard is approximately $15 million,” said Citrus Heights Mayor Steve Miller in a text message on Saturday. “It may be a couple months before we know the exact amount.”

Vice Mayor Porsche Middleton cited a similar figure in a Feb. 25 social medial post, saying the city would receive “an estimated $14.74 million.” However, a more recent March 11 article from Capital Public Radio cited a figure of $19 million, as the amount Citrus Heights would receive from the latest COVID-19 relief package.

An email to City Communications Officer Nichole Baxter on Thursday seeking an estimated funding total and a list of local programs and services the funds would likely be used for was not returned by press time on Saturday night.

The mayor said funding to cities will be administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury, “which over the next few weeks will develop detailed rules and guidance regarding the eligible uses for the funds.”

He also said city officials are working closely with Congressman Ami Bera’s office “to learn all the details and requirements of the relief bill.” He said competitive infrastructure grants will also be available to cities, and said Citrus Heights will be submitting applications for any projects that qualify for the grants.

A boost of $15 to 19 million is no small amount for a city like Citrus Heights, with General Fund expenditures of about $32 million last year.

The city held a budget study session in January where staff presented dire scenarios, including multi-million-dollar deficits or major cuts to police and other services. But those scenarios assumed no relief funding from the federal government.

Citrus Heights considering deep cuts to police in effort to balance budget

Councilman Bret Daniels said during a council meeting Thursday night that the city will be helped “tremendously” by the new federal legislation. The context of his comments regarded the council’s decision to approve a $10,000 sponsorship going to the Chamber of Commerce, something Daniels said he would have opposed if it had been for the promise of new federal money coming to the city.

“I think it’s very important for people to understand that with the federal ‘somewhat-COVID relief’ bill that was passed, that is something that is going to help the city tremendously,” said Daniels. “We are looking at receiving millions of dollars from that, and we will actually, in my opinion, be made whole, and even better-funded than pre-COVID.”

*Correction: This article initially referenced the American Rescue Plan as being $1.9 billion. It has been updated to correctly state $1.9 trillion. Although the terms only differ by two letters, one trillion is 1,000 times larger than one billion. We apologize for this unintentional error.

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