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Montgomery City Council delays vote over ARPA funds

Montgomery City Council delays vote over ARPA funds

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  • January 18, 2023
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – There was tension at Tuesday’s Montgomery City Council meeting over a vote surrounding American Rescue Plan Act funds.

“We sit here and we play games with the leadership and responsibility that we have as leaders in this city,” said Councilman “CC” Calhoun. “I just think that’s a shame.”

Council members decided to postpone a vote that could equally divide the federal funds between the city’s nine council districts. It would be dollars that could be used to help with crime prevention, hospital aid, broadband issues and sewer problems.

Calhoun believes the city should not have delayed the decision.

“I just think that is just a lack of being good leaders, being good steward of the money that the federal government has sent down to us,” he said.

The federal government gave the area around $84 million. The council said $14 million has already been approved for projects, such as improving the YMCA soccer fields and supporting mental health resources.

With around $70 million left to allocate, Councilwoman Audrey Graham believed the council did not need to rush.

“You sit here today making it seem like ‘if you don’t do it today, it won’t be done,’” Graham said. “You just said it’ll be eight weeks before you even come back with a study, so two weeks ain’t did anything.”

City Council President Charles Jinright said the ARPA funds have complex guidelines. He reassured the public the council would reach a decision soon.

“There’s a lot of information. $84 million in there,” he said. “A lot of money that’s got to be explained. And so a lot of questions, a lot of misunderstandings go with those, so that’s where it goes, and I think two weeks won’t hurt it. I mean, we’ll get it done.”

Two weeks from now is when the City Council will meet again to discuss this issue at City Hall.

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