LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – $50 million dollars in federal pandemic funding could be distributed around Lansing as Mayor Andy Schor presents his plan to spend it over the next two years during Monday’s city council meeting.
From Lansing Public Schools to parks and recreation, city departments and non-profits could each possibly get a one-time financial boost thanks to funding the city received from the American Rescue Plan Act.
“I’m excited to be able to use it for transformative change. We’re excited, we are appreciative of the US government for providing these dollars. We have been very efficient with the dollar to make sure we don’t have to use too much to backfill and we can infuse these into our city,” said Mayor Schor.
Schor’s proposed spending plan breaks down into public health, economic development, and revenue recovery. Members of the mayor’s office said $25 million will help backfill the city’s budget.
The other $25 million will be divided among projects that several community groups suggested. One of them will send $3,000,000 to the city’s department of parks and recreation to tackle a list of upgrades.
Schor said this is part of addressing health and equity in the city.
“We have 110 parks in the City of Lansing. So, you have a park 10 minutes from everyone. So, that is about equitable as it gets to make sure everybody can utilize those resources,” he said.
Schor said improving equity also means expanding economic help through non-profits and city programs. $650,000 would fund NAACP suggested programs like the Southside Community Center and non-profit, Mikey23.
More than five million will go toward the Lansing Economic Area Partnership with the goal of supporting minority own businesses.
“When you look at our minority community, our black and brown community, we actually do okay here. We want to make sure they have every opportunity. !gain, four million dollars is a big chunk of change but it’s worth it for equity,”
A few line items aim to address public safety through funding community engagement with $30,000 focused on continuing a gun violence prevention program.
“We’re going to try and continue those dollars into our department of neighborhoods, arts and citizen engagement to work with groups to create gun violence prevention to make sure it doesn’t happen,” Mayor Schor said.
The funding won’t be here until August but Mayor Schor said he’s pushing to get contracts with departments and non-profits ready ahead of time. The proposal also leaves a two million dollar line item for city council members to make their own proposals.
You can view the full spending proposal here.