By Ralph Echtinaw
City Manager Kurt Giles announced Tuesday that St. Louis will receive a grant of $760,000 from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act.
Half the money should arrive in the next few weeks. The rest will get here next year.
What to spend it on is tricky because “the rules are not set, so they’re sort of scary,” said Finance Director Bobbi Marr. “There are lots of categories. But the easiest category to put it in is infrastructure.”
Giles said water, wastewater and broadband projects are safe bets because they “have been listed as eligible expenditures right from the start.”
Some spending is off limits for ARPA funds, however. They “are not allowed to pay off existing debt, reduce taxes, or fund legacy pension costs,” Giles said.
They’ve got plenty of time to figure out how to use the money, as a contract doesn’t have to be in place until Dec. 31, 2024 even if it takes until as late as Dec. 1, 2026 to have a project finished and paid for, Giles said.
“Water is a great place to put it because we still have $4 million worth of bonds we haven’t issued yet on projects we know are going to happen in the next five years,” Marr told city council Tuesday. “It reduces the amount of debt we might have gone out for.”
Visit Healthcare, a subcontractor with the state health department, will host vaccination clinics at St. Louis city hall 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, and Thursday, Dec. 9, in city hall. No appointment needed. Bring ID and vaccination card if you have one.
This year’s Christmas parade begins 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, at the corner of North and Mill (by Frosty Cone) proceeds south on Mill and east on Saginaw to finish in the high school parking lot. Santa Claus will visit with children in the high school cafeteria after the parade.