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Council to Consider Use of First American Rescue Plan Payment of $26 Million

Published on Monday, August 16, 2021 | 5:00 am

Pasadena city staff is recommending additional appropriations from funds acquired through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

So far, the city has received $26 million from the economic stimulus bill signed into law by President Biden which ultimately will pump $1.9 trillion state and local government agencies.

The city will receive a second $26 million payment next June.

The funds can be used to respond to the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic or its negative economic impacts.

Money can also be appropriated to respond to workers performing essential work during the pandemic, for the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to COVID-19, and to make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.

Rules prohibit the deposit of any ARPA funds towards pension liabilities or making debt service payments or contributions to fiscal reserves.

Staff recommendations include:

  • Allocation of $9.8 million to the General Fund to backfill revenue losses, maintain essential services, and eliminate the projected operating deficit for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022.
  • Allocation of $8.539 million to the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget for projects previously approved and budgeted prior to the pandemic, including annual Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sidewalk and curb ramp improvements, Colorado Street Bridge enhancements, a traffic signal at Del Mar Boulevard and Michigan Avenue, a traffic signal at Orange Grove Boulevard and Craig Avenue, and high-voltage series street light conversion.
  • Allocation of $400,000 to the CIP budget for Fire Station 37 seismic upgrades.
  • Allocation of $2 million to the CIP budget for Fire Station 38 tenant improvements necessary to maintain operational standards of the facility. 
  • Allocation of $1million to offset revenue losses in the parking fund to maintain operations and prevent the fund from going into a negative cash position. 
  • Allocation of $623,000 to offset revenue losses from various on-street parking funds and the General Fund for the waiver of occupancy fees through June 2022 to support outdoor dining in the public right-of-way. 
  • Allocation of $630,000 to the Housing Department’s FY 22 operating budget to support a bridge housing program for Pasadena City College students who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness, a second HOPE Team case manager from Union Station, and additional eviction prevention legal services through the Housing Rights Center. 
  • Allocation of $550,000 to support the previously approved creation of the second Pasadena Outreach Response Team (PORT) for FY 23 and FY 24. 
  • Allocation of $600,000 in ARPA funds to support the previously approved Public Health Department’s Health Equity Program for FY 23 and FY 24.
  • Allocation of $200,000 to the General Fund, City Manager’s Office budget, to support continued efforts that reduce community violence and further prevention and intervention efforts.
  • Allocation of  $925,000 to cover the anticipated cost of COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated employees as set forth in the City’s new mandatory vaccine policy through June 2022.  

“The economic crisis brought about by the pandemic has exacerbated the financial condition of the RBOC, necessitating the provision of $22.5 million from General Fund reserves to backstop the RBOC for FY 21 and FY 22, with additional support anticipated for the future,” according to the city staff report.

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