Pocatello–Earlier this week, local government watchdog group Pocatello For Accountable Government Entities published the City of Pocatello’s list of proposed uses for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Their social media post reads:
HOW DO YOU WANT THE AMERICA RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA) FUNDS TO BE SPENT?
NEWLY PROPOSED (City of Pocatello) ARPA PROJECT LIST: (This list does not include prior proposed projects)
Mental Health Support (for community partner grants) – $200,000
Premium Pay for Fire/Police ($1040/employee) – $236,080
Premium Pay for essential City workers (Sanitation, Water, WPC, UB, Animal Control, Building Cemetery, PRT (COST TBD)
Fire Alert System — $556K
Three (3) 2023 Ford F-150 XL Cab Styleside V6 for Police Code/animal enforcement with full wrap @ $3000/vehicle & $1000/truck for graphics rebranding of existing trucks (4) –TTL $146,035 )
* Another $28,017.54 is included in the presentation for the animal/code enforcement trucks, but is not listed in the table of requests for 3 “Jones Trailer Company 6-stall slide-in with storage/8 ft bed @ $7221.89/box, 12 volt exhust fan @ $348.89/box and shipping costs $1768.40/box. Cost is @ $9,339.18/truck to outfit – TTL $28,017.54
Raymond Park: Courts resurfacing & pickleball court development – $100K
New Library elevator – $100K
NOTE: To date, the only approved ARPA project is the City Well #2 Replacement ($2M). This leaves $8.7M in unallocated funding from the $10.7M award. The City has until December 31, 2024 to obligate the funds and until December 31, 2026 to spend the funds.
At Thursday’s 11/10/2022 City Council Work Session, city staff will present information to the Council regarding the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and will seek direction from the Council concerning projects to be funded with Pocatello’s $10.7M ARPA funds.
It has been nearly six months since ARPA was last discussed by the Council on 05/12/22. During FY23 budgeting, council members were told the staff was researching the costs of the identified proposed projects.
Pocatello has modified its prior proposed list of uses for the $10.7M of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) to remove those projects funded during FY2023 budgeting and to add several new projects as listed above. One project noticeably missing from the agenda packet is one much-discussed this past summer – Golf clubhouse replacement. The total cost of the proposed projects far exceed the $8.7M available.
While the initial list included infrastructure and capital improvement projects, the latest additions have shifted to projects that include things like mental health assistance (community partner grants) and salary bonuses or “premium pay” for city Police and Fire employees, and “essential” city workers for their performance of “essential” work during the pandemic.
Please note that while Bannock County requested public input regarding their proposed list of ARPA Fund uses, it appears that Pocatello has no such plans—at least, not so far. We are uncertain whether the Council will proceed with one or more decisions to obligate a portion of the available funds or all of the available funds at this week’s meeting.
Take a look at the latest lists of proposed Pocatello ARPA Fund uses and email your opinions/concerns with the City Council. How do you want to see ARPA funds spent?
How do you NOT want the funds to be spent?
Optional: BCC P.A.G.E. so we can keep a list of the public’s preferred projects (email@example.com)