While many local governments continue to gather information and explore potential investments, some have taken steps to launch or advance initiatives made possible with fiscal recovery funds. Some examples the ICMA report includes are:
Household relief funds are helping improve low-income homes. Kenmore, Washington is a nonentitlement unit with a population of 23,000 anticipating $6 million in federal recovery funds. Officials plan to address the negative economic impacts of the pandemic and will also dedicate $1 million toward direct assistance to low-income households at 30% or below the area median income.
Varying approaches to regional broadband. In the Lake Cities region of Texas, four smaller municipalities (Corinth, population 22,000; Hickory Creek, population 4,600; Lake Dallas, population 8,000; and Shady Shores, population 2,800) have been working together to establish a middle mile/government service fiber ring, and have issued a request for a proposal for a public-private partnership, extending connections to their residents and businesses.
Investing in community resiliency. Davenport, Iowa, with a population of 102,000, received a $40 million direct allocation, and plans on utilizing public feedback and a city council prioritization process. The council approved a plan that included investments in flood migration, housing for vulnerable residents, youth-oriented programming, park and public space improvements and other infrastructure projects.
In some states, officials are using the money to help the travel and hospitality industries rebound from the economic downturn brought by the pandemic.
Other states and localities still are considering how to use their funds while some small towns are not accepting the cash because they say they either don’t need it or don’t want the burden of reporting to the federal government how they are using it.