The City of Rifle Uses Technology to Increase Public Engagement on Best Allocation of American Rescue Plan Funds
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The City of Rifle has additional funds this year and wants citizen input on how to spend that money.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) was a $1.9 trillion-dollar economic stimulus bill passed last year in an effort to speed recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. That money was channeled into numerous funds including the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF). The City of Rifle was awarded $2.4 million dollars of SLFRF money which may be utilized to support government services.
City staff has discussed the potential allocation of these funds with projects ranging from supplementing necessary expenditures to spending on items that otherwise might not be funded. The question of whether to use these one-time funds to supplement the budget for existing costs or for the purchase of something that would not otherwise be possible is the issue being presented to citizens through Balancing Act.
Balancing Act is a tool for engaging the public in various types of spending scenarios including the annual budget. Balancing Act can target specific categories such as this grant funding, recreation, or economic development, or can present complex scenarios like an annual budget. Possible projects with dollar amounts assigned will be listed. Final decisions will be made by City Council. Staff is hopeful this simulation will inform and engage citizens and be demonstrative of the difficulty staff and elected officials experience meeting community needs and providing necessary services with limited resources.
The City of Rifle has until 2026 to spend the funds, but all monies must be committed to projects by the end of 2024. This will allow ample time for the evaluation of options and analysis of citizen input.
Balancing Act will be available on all City platforms including the website, rifleco.org, and social media sites Facebook and Twitter. QR codes will also be posted around town to make access quick and easy. The site is expected to go live on Friday, March 4, 2022.
For updated information on all City matters, please go to our website, www.rifleco.org or our Facebook and Twitter pages.