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Kalamazoo city officials seek input on how to use American Rescue Plan funds

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Posted at 3:39 PM, Jun 18, 2021

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The City of Kalamazoo wants feedback from community members on how federal stimulus funds from the American Rescue Plan should be used.

A 30-day public comment period opened Friday and city residents may share their feedback through July 18, according to a news release.

Residents may complete the survey onlineor complete a paper copy at locationsthroughout the city.

Translation assistance is available by calling 311 or 269-337-8000.

The survey asks residents to prioritize 10 areas of investment based on the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Master Plan, City Commission priorities and the recently completed National Community Survey of City of Kalamazoo residents.

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Respondents can also share a brief statement about how the city can best use the funding to help the community recover from the effects of the pandemic.

“The federal funding that Kalamazoo will receive from the American Rescue Plan act is a huge opportunity,” said Jim Ritsema, Kalamazoo’s city manager. “We are listening to the people in our community and want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to have their voice heard in this process.”

Kalamazoo expects to receive $38.9 million of state and local fiscal recovery funds through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The funds can be used on a broad range of investments to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, support economic stabilization, replace lost revenue or address systemic public health and economic challenges that contributed to the pandemic’s disparate impact on communities of color.

Funds may also be used for certain infrastructure projects, including water and sewer utilities, and expanding access to broadband internet.

The City Commission and city leadership say they will use survey results to help identify where help is most needed and what should be prioritized for funding.

“Our goal is to invest this money in a manner that helps our residents who were most impacted by COVID-19, address needs that were highlighted by the pandemic and secure a brighter future for everyone in our community,” Ritsema said. “Please let us know what’s most important to you and most needed for Kalamazoo.”