City announces community forums on COVID-19 relief funds in Flint

Flint, MI– The City of Flint announced four public consultation sessions to discuss how to spend $94.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds in Flint.

In March 2021, the city learned it would receive the funding as part of a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package intended to help the country recover from the pandemic.

The money has specific eligible uses that are outlined in a 437-page document, and if it’s spent incorrectly, the city will have to reimburse it. So far, the only item the council has voted to spend the money on is a one-year contract with a compliance firm to help ensure the rest of the spending is done correctly.

“Now that we have our compliance component in place, it’s time to re-engage with residents on next steps,” Mayor Sheldon Neeley said in a news release. “We will continue to build a stronger Flint by ensuring these dollars are invested in a way that reflects community priorities.”

Residents are invited to get the latest information on ARPA’s spending categories and next steps for Flint during the next four Community Input sessions. Representatives from the recently hired compliance firm, Ernst & Young, will be in attendance.

The sessions will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the following dates:

  1. Thursday, February 17: Mott Community College Event Center
  2. Tuesday, February 22: Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village
  3. Thursday March 3: Accelerated Learning Academy (formerly Scott School)
  4. Tuesday, March 8: Insight Institute of Neurosurgery & Neuroscience (IINN)

The Flint City Council also holds its own public comment sessions. They held the first session on February 7, but will hold three more with dates and times yet to be announced.

Anyone unable to attend open sessions can submit questions or comments in one of four ways:

• Email [email protected]

• Send your comments to: City of Flint Budget Input, 1101 S. Saginaw St. Room 203, Flint, Michigan 48502

• Write comments and drop them off at Flint City Hall in the red drop box in front of the City Hall entrance.

• Dial (810) 237-2000. All callers will be asked to leave a message with their comments, which will be transcribed and included in the reports along with the other comments submitted.

Harry L. Blanchard