ST. LOUIS — More discussions are underway on how St. Louis will spend nearly $500 million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funds.
“Put your input in and see how it all falls out. You can’t do it if you don’t try. It’s like the lottery. If you don’t get a ticket, you can’t say you won,” said resident Sharon Mitchell.
Mitchell lives in Spanish Lake and says she wants to see the money on internet access for seniors and other needs.
“I would like the lights and safety to be fixed. And I would like the committee to come together and work together,” Mitchell said.
North St. Louis County resident Janet Lewis wants the money to go towards food equity.
“I have a 501-C3 farm called Rustic Root Sanctuary, and I believe that we need to have more money passed down to agriculture and urban farmers so we can feed our community. There’s all this food insecurity in north county, and there are farmers that are working hard to overcome that,” Lewis said.
Right now, the city has around $250 million, and the rest of the $500 million will be available in the coming months.
“I was getting a lot of questions regarding DARPA funds. Where exactly did they go?” said Missouri Sen. Angela Mosley. “That is why we held this meeting.”
Lawmakers say the money will probably be allocated to organizations through grants. Several state lawmakers attended the meeting, including a representative for Congressman Cori Bush.
“I want to please the people. I want to make sure that they get what they want, and we can help them to live comfortable lives as best as possible. Right now, it kind of feels like our hands are tied because we’re in the minority,” Missouri Rep. Jay Mosely said.
Some lawmakers say the bigger decision will be the upcoming election in the fall and chose the right lawmakers to handle the money.
“So, I would encourage everyone to vote their interests, and let’s see if we can level the playing field a little bit,” Mosley said.
You can go to mobudget.org for more information on how Missouri plans to spend the ARPA funds and join the discussion.