Davenport mayor wants to find the right balance for most effective use of American Rescue Plan cash

4 The Record

Davenport has $41 million to spend by end of 2024

Davenport’s got almost $41 million in federal money to work with from the American Rescue Plan for pandemic relief.

The mayor went public this week asking for the people in the city to fill out an online survey to help determine how to utilize the money.

It can be used to respond to the negative economic impact on businesses or people — lost revenue directly tied to COVID-19 — or to support projects for infrastructure like water, sewer and broadband.

All of this money has to be spent by the end of 2024.

Davenport city leaders are focused on putting that pandemic relief money to its most effective use.

That opens the possibilities to move in a few different directions.

Davenport Mayor Mike Matson is leading that effort and he joined this week’s 4 The Record for a conversation.

Matson has been upfront about the need to get the people involved to decide how to allocate this money and the broad areas to focus, like the economic impact on businesses and people, compensation for lost revenue and infrastructure.

He shared if he had any percentages in mind about how to divide it among those areas and how the city will ensure the ideas that come from the public survey don’t spread things out so much that the money can’t make a difference.

We’ve typically seen any reimbursements to businesses and people come in the form of grants.

There is a little catch-22 in the timing.

There’s no rush to spend the money with more than three years until the deadline.

But some businesses and people probably need it fast to stay afloat.

Matcson talked about how to balance the immediate need for relief with trying to allocate it effectively.

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