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Where has Citrus Heights been spending its $15.7M in ARPA funds?

A list of ARPA funding allocations included in the Citrus Heights City Council meeting agenda packet for Feb. 23, 2023. Items with an asterisk have contingencies. Items listed Feb. 23 are pending council approval.

Updated Feb. 25, 10:19 a.m.–
By Phillip Pesola– The City of Citrus Heights was awarded a total of $15.7 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a $1.9 trillion spending bill passed in 2021 to help with COVID-19 relief and economic recovery.

As of Feb. 21, 2023, the city has allocated about two-thirds of its share of ARPA funds, with about $5.7 million remaining to be allocated. ARPA funds were initially restricted to pandemic-related expenses but later gave local governments and other recipients broad discretion in how to use the first $10 million in funds.

A report on the city’s website shows uses of the funds have included Police Department staffing, vehicles and equipment, as well as a small business recovery program. Below is a breakdown of where the funds have been distributed so far, taken from the city’s website and a Jan. 26 agenda packet.

Police funding. In 2021, the City Council approved $4.4 million in ARPA funds to go towards the Police Department’s budget over two years as a way to bring the department’s staff levels back to what they were prior to COVID-19.

Additional funding of $1.4 million was approved in 2022 to go towards police fleet vehicles and equipment purchases, along with an additional $600,000 to go towards upgrades to the Police Department’s Communications Center.

Business recovery grants. The city created a COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Grant Program in order to assist local businesses with the costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic by providing grants of up to $15,000. The total available funds for the program was $320,000, with the final amount of $281,111 being awarded with ARPA funds.

Beautification crew. The city launched a program to clean up trash and blight in December of 2022, setting aside $875,000 towards equipment and two full-time workers.

Block party trailer. A trailer stocked with event hosting items was funded with $50,000 from ARPA monies to be made available for community groups to rent.

Community projects. The council last year approved guidelines for a community projects grant program for local nonprofits, with $50,000 in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Tech upgrades. The council on Oct. 27, 2022, voted to allocate $1.2 million in ARPA funds to “replace and update information technology hardware and software determined to be outdated.” A contract with Tyler Technologies was approved that will combine six systems into one platform for handling financial and data management needs.

Sunrise Mall plan. The city in December applied for a state grant of up to $10 million for housing-related infrastructure upgrades at Sunrise Mall, and allocated up to $1 million in ARPA funds to be contributed to make the grant more competitive. Funding would go to support infill development on the mall site, paying for frontage improvements, utilities, intersection upgrades and transit-related improvements.

On Dec. 8, 2022, $40,000 in ARPA funds were also allocated to pay for infrastructure financing strategies related to the Sunrise Tomorrow plan.

Patriotic event. On Jan. 26, the City Council approved funding a patriotic event this summer with up to $80,000 coming from American Rescue Plan Act funding. The event is set to be held on the weekend before the Fourth of July and include music, food, and a professional fireworks show.

The amount of remaining un-allocated funds is currently $5.7 million, according to a report included in the council’s agenda packet on Jan. 26. Another $1 million is proposed to be allocated for a Business Attraction Incentive Program, but the vote on that item — initially slated for Feb. 23 — was postponed to a future council meeting.

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