Here's how you can vote on how Ann Arbor spends $24 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds

An unarmed response program, solar energy for city facilities, housing for homeless households, and a universal basic income pilot program are all on the city of Ann Arbor’s list of potential projects to receive funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

The city is receiving $24.1 million in funding through ARPA, a stimulus bill that aims to address COVID-19's negative impact on American communities by distributing funds to local governments. 

The city has provided online overview videos for each of the 13 potential projects and is seeking input from citizens on fund allocations through an online survey. The survey allows citizens to choose which projects they would like to see funded as well as how they think the $24.1 million should be divided amongst them. 

"The public engagement process and the survey we are conducting gives City Council another tool to see what the public thinks about proposed projects," says Ann Arbor Communications Specialist Robert Kellar, reached by email.

The 13 projects eligible for funding are a new city clerk election center, solar on city facilities, housing for homeless households, property acquisition for affordable housing, Vision Zero implementation for the city’s transportation, a Miller-Catherine bike facility, galvanized water service line replacement, a community and law enforcement public safety data platform to collect data on police biases and support training and education for officers, a newly carbon-neutral Fire Station 4 on Huron Parkway, coordinated funding support for families living at or below the poverty line, a universal basic income pilot program, a Gallup Park bridge replacement and road and trail renovation, and an unarmed response program that would divert nonviolent and non-criminal emergency calls to qualified human services professionals.

"It is important that residents understand that the possible projects being discussed for ARPA funding have had to meet certain federal requirements and are community priorities identified through previous planning processes," Kellar says.

The city is seeking community input through its online survey until Feb. 14, at which point Ann Arbor City Council will begin making its final decision on the funding.

Sabine Bickford Brown is a freelance writer and editor based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She can be reached at
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