Omaha City Council holds public hearings on spending ARPA funds
There are millions of dollars on the table, including nearly $10 million for essential city workers in Omaha
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - There was little opposition Tuesday on proposals before the city council.
It had to do with spending money from the American Rescue Plan.
There are millions of dollars on the table, including nearly $10 million for essential city workers in Omaha.
Premium pay for those who were essential during the pandemic. A thank you to those who are still sticking around at this time.
This impacts city employees, police officers, firefighters, road crews, and city staff.
$3,000 in premium pay apiece through COVID funds. Part-time and seasonal workers are eligible for up to $1,500.
If you are elected, like those on the city council, you don’t get the bonus.
The city council also heard from the public when it comes to millions of dollars in Rescue Plan funds going to affordable housing. The demand is there based on previous grants.
“The need is high in our community. In a two-week cycle we received $49.6 million in request applications and awarded over $7 million,” said Meridith Dillon, Front Porch Investments.
The next application cycle for affordable housing grants through Front Porch Investments is August 15 with a one month window to apply.
Larry Store, a public meeting watchdog over how tax dollars are spent and open meetings are run, questions the logic of many of the proposals. Especially when the goal is to make housing affordable for everyone.
“I’ll give you $20 million forward if you give me $20 million today. There’s private dollars promised to leverage the other $20 million,” said Store.
That said, the support for targeting affordable housing with Rescue Act dollars seems to be there. After all, experts say there’s a major gap that needs filling 100,000 units.
“This is a smart move by the city and a wise use of ARPA funds. It’s an important step to increasing affordable housing in Omaha,” said Alex O’Hanlon, One Omaha.
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