By SCOTT JACKSON
Ward 2 Councillor Anthony Andronico wants an update from city officials on how the federal stimulus funds Quincy received earlier this year have been spent to date, and also wants the administration to gather public input to determine how the remaining money should be used.
Mayor Thomas Koch in March announced Quincy would be receiving $46.3 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion federal bill signed into law earlier that month. Communities have until December 2024 to use their ARPA money on eligible initiatives.
In May, Koch announced the city would be using a portion of the city’s ARPA money and part of the $10.7 million earmarked for Quincy College – which was awarded separately from the funds the city itself received – to purchase the Munroe Building and a nearby parking lot in Quincy Center for $15 million.
Andronico will introduce a resolution seeking a full accounting of the city’s ARPA spending to date at Monday’s City Council meeting. The resolution also asks the administration to seek public input on how the remaining funds should be spent, using either an online survey or public hearings.
“The people of Quincy deserve an opportunity to provide direct input into how federal COVID-19 relief funds are spent,” Andronico said in a statement. “Although the Mayor’s Office has final say on how these funds are allocated, I believe the Administration should take the same steps followed by many other municipalities that have a mayoral form of government and solicit input from residents.
“To this point, the Council and the public have only been informed through the news of where federal relief funds are headed and an accounting update on remaining relief funds would allow the public to understand which shared priorities we may be able to invest in moving forward.”
In his resolution, Andronico wrote that “Fall River, Lowell, Newton, Pittsfield, Springfield, Weymouth and Worcester have either had public meetings or created online surveys for residents to submit feedback on how ARPA funds in their community should be spent.”
In addition, he noted the Quincy Public Schools “recently held an online information and feedback session to review with stakeholders potential plans for their Elementary and Secondary Education Emergency Relief (ESSER III) Funds from the ARPA.”