Irvine Prepares to Spend $56 Million in Relief Funds; Seeks Public Input on How to Spend It
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319) into law. Approximately $45.6 billion of those relief funds are allocated to metropolitan cities. Irvine will receive $56,433,217 in direct one-time funding. Cities are given wide latitude toward using this aid to address areas within the city negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Irvine, like the majority of metropolitan cities in America today, have yet to spend their relief funds.
The Finance Commission created a blue print for proposed spending, subject to change, and contingent on approval from Irvine City Council. The proposed spending plan includes:
- $23 million toward “Quality of Life” including $5 million to the One Irvine program, $4 million to behavioral health mobile outreach, $4 million for playground safety, and $2.5 million toward restroom sanitary improvements.
- $14.5 million toward broadband and housing.
- $9.3 million toward “Natural Environment” including $4.4 in soccer turf and athletic field drainage, and other artificial turf improvements.
- $7.4 million toward shuttle and walkability.
- $2.3 million toward one-time employee premium pay ($1,000 for part-time and $2,000 for full-time city workers).
In their proposal, the Finance Commission further explains:
The proposal includes $23 million for enhancing the Quality of Life for Irvine residents with critical programs such as Be Well OC to provide innovative behavioral health and mobile crisis response teams within the City and implementing the One Irvine Program addressing revitalization efforts of City neighborhoods. The City continues to focus on promoting conservation of the Natural Environment, allocating $9.3 million to protect natural resources, improving fields, opens spaces and planting 400 additional trees citywide. $7.4 million is included to implement trail use, bike use, and shared transportation measures and improvements and $14.5 million is focused on responsible investment in key infrastructure, including affordable housing and broadband. Lastly, $2.3 million is recommended to provide premium pay to the City’s staff who stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide uninterrupted exceptional services to our residents and businesses.
The public may provide input or concerns about the proposed spending plan during the Finance Commission regular meeting on September 20 at 5:30 pm. Meetings are available to attend in-person in the City Council chamber or live through “Zoom”. Instructions for viewing the meeting through “Zoom” may be accessed here. You may also submit comments via email to FMSP@CityofIrvine.org or by using the E-Comment system. E-comments submitted at least two hours prior to the commencement of the meeting shall be distributed to the finance commission at the meeting.
To view a larger image of the table below click here.