St. Louis and St. Louis County officials met separately on Saturday to prioritize how to spend a combined $710 million of incoming federal stimulus funding, allotted through the American Rescue Plan.
The money, part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed by President Joe Biden on March 11, represents the biggest infusion of federal funds into local governments in decades.
The St. Louis County Council met in a hybrid online-in person session with a facilitator for more than three hours for initial discussions on where its $193 million cut of funding should be spent. The St. Louis city Stimulus Advisory Board, which includes 25 members from across the public and private spheres, also met, aiming to produce recommendations for how the city’s $517 million share of money can best be spent.
St. Louis County officials identified 11 broad spending categories. County Council members were asked to narrow the list to five, but no formal vote was taken and the tally of their preferences was not reported.
The categories included housing stabilization, economic development, public health, food insecurity, safe neighborhoods, small business relief, the digital divide, infrastructure, public safety, a COVID-19 emergency fund and program management.