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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Here’s how Upland will spend $15.2 million in coronavirus relief funding

Upland plans to spend $15.2 million in federal stimulus money aimed at healing the economic wounds inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, which has often enabled the cash-strapped city to fill holes in city services and embrace capital reforms. builds that otherwise cannot afford to do so.

As is the case with most California cities, spending from the US Rescue Plan Act allocation will more than make up for lost revenue from business closures and stay-at-home orders over the next three years, which will ease from June despite the negative impacts. are. About the delta version of the virus on non-vaccinated people.

“Undoubtedly, ARPA is a once in a generation opportunity for us. We are gaining much more than the losers in the pandemic,” acting city manager Stephen Parker said on Tuesday, 12 October.

For example, the city has invested an additional $3.5 million in incentives to raise a looser general fund, bridging a growing budget deficit, even if a lot of it is not needed.

“We think there will not be much backfill required and additional allocations of ARPA funding will be available,” Ward Commerce, the city’s finance advisor, concluded during a presentation to the city council on Monday, October 11.

On Monday, the city council adopted a separate spending plan only for the ARPA fund. Four sectors topped the spending blueprint: the police department; streets, alleys and sidewalks; Business Support and Downtown Upland.

The city blueprint largely follows the priorities expressed in a city survey that received 2,156 responses. Here are the ARPA expense categories with select examples and estimated expenses:

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• basic infrastructure ($4.1 million): Streets ($1 million); park parking lots ($1.25 million); pavement repair and rehabilitation ($880,000); Traffic sign improvement ($175,000).

• public security ($4.2 million): to increase patrol staff per shift by 20% ($2.9 million), adding four police officers and reclassifying five vacant officer positions to corporal/spy; aerial drone ($200,000); license plate reader replacement ($780,000); Dispatcher Training ($142,000).

• Small Business Investments ($1.03 million): Professional support and attraction ($200,000); Downtown Small Business Rehabilitation with Grants for Outdoor Spaces ($200,000) for COVID-19 Mitigation and Improvement; Small Business Rental Assistance ($625,000).

• Downtown Investments ($1 million): security barriers ($75,000); Parking lot repairs, landscaping, electric-vehicle charging stations ($750,000); Feasibility Study for Downtown Parking Garage ($75,000); Parklet ($120,000).

• Operating Investment ($290,000): Upgrade the city website ($100,000); Improved Record Access ($190,000).

• General Fund Program ($4.4 million): General Fund Aid ($3.5 million); Development Services Specialist ($262,500); Program Administrator/Finance Consultant ($480,000); Other administration costs ($200,000).

Mayor Bill Velto said, “I am delighted that infrastructure is a priority in our city and I am delighted to see residents see it.”

The city must spend federal stimulus dollars by December 2026. Parker said the city would be well ahead of that deadline. Parker said funding for police augmentation would begin in the current fiscal and continue through the 2024-25 fiscal year. He expects contracts for pavement repair and street improvement to be awarded by the end of this year.

“I’d put it out sooner rather than later,” Parker said.

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