How do you want the City of San Antonio to use ARPA funds?

SAN ANTONIO – Right now, the City of San Antonio is strategizing on how to spend over $ 220 million allocated to the community through US bailout funds.

But the city doesn’t just want to decide how to spend the money. Instead, officials seek the opinion of the public.

“I think that’s great. I think we have a lot of opinions here. Come talk to us,” said Orlando Pacheco, a San Antonio resident.

Pacheco is an enthusiastic citizen of what the additional hundreds of millions of dollars could mean for the community.

“We got a total of $ 327 million from the federal government. The first semester arrived in May 2021, so we used around $ 97 million to stabilize the city budget. Specifically, our general fund and the occupancy tax of hotels that were affected by COVID-19 as our income was declining, ”said María Villagómez San Antonio, Deputy City Manager.

The idea of ​​the city meetings is to see how community members have been affected by COVID and use those funds to respond accordingly.

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“We don’t want to spend these dollars without getting feedback from the community,” Villagómez said.

The city has a series of meetings open to the public and the people we spoke with have big ideas.

“I would like it to be devoted to infrastructure. I live in this neighborhood, Beacon Hill and a lot of our streets and roads are really, really messy. So I think if we spent it in this island town I think it would be a good expense, ”said Pacheco.

“As a city, we will try to strategize, strategize and ensure we maximize funds not only from the infrastructure bill, but also from other entities in the city that have received the funding. ‘ARPA like the county, for example, “Villagómez said.

The plan is for the city to present the ideas heard by the community throughout the month of November and to formulate a plan for the city council, which will attempt to adopt a formal plan by January 2022.

“Please participate. It is very important for us to know how everyone has been affected by COVID, and everyone has a different story. So we want to make sure that we hear these stories so that we can develop a plan that reflects the contribution of the community, ”Villagómez said.

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A meeting takes place Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at the Alicia Trevino Lopez Center for the Elderly, and is open to the public.

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