Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Monday, August 1, the City of Hattiesburg launched a survey to provide residents with an outlet for feedback on how American Rescue Plan Act funding will be spent.
The survey is accessible online at https://bit.ly/hburgarpa_survey or by calling the Mayor’s office at 601-545-4501.
“Funding from the American Rescue Plan Act presents a real opportunity for cities like Hattiesburg to make game-changing investments in infrastructure, human capital, public safety and quality of life,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “That’s why it is so important to be strategic with ARPA funding decisions – and most importantly, to give the public a voice in how monies are spent.”
In early 2022, the Hattiesburg City Council voted to acknowledge and receive the City’s allocation of State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) totaling $12,875,821. Administratively, funds were held until the close of the 2022 Legislative Session in hopes that a bill would provide an opportunity to match funds with state allocations.
At the close of the legislative session in April, Senate Bill 2822 was signed into law to establish the Mississippi Municipality and County Water Infrastructure Grant Program Act Of 2022 – matching APRA funding spent on infrastructure dollar for dollar.
“When the Mississippi Legislature and its leaders stepped forward to provide potential matching funds for water, sewer and stormwater projects, it empowered cities to steer significant portions of ARPA money toward these sorts of once-in-a-generation type projects,” said Barker.
The U.S. Department of Treasury issued its guidance on how states and cities can use that funding in January, allowing use for:
• The replacement of lost public sector revenue, which allows for use up to $10 million of a recipient’s ARPA allocation to provide basic government services.
• The support of COVID-19-related public health and economic response by addressing COVID-19 and its impact on public health as well as addressing economic harms to households, small businesses, nonprofits, impacted industries and the public sector.
• Premium pay for eligible works performing essential work, offering additional support to those who have and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical sectors.
• The investment in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, to support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and to expand affordable access to broadband internet.
To stay up to date with the City’s ARPA funding, residents can visit http://hattiesburgms.com/arpa.