Updated: June 29, 2021 10:18 PM
Created: June 29, 2021 08:22 PM
Minneapolis is set to receive $271 million as part of the American Rescue Plan — the largest chunk of federal money the city has ever gotten, according to Mayor Jacob Frey.
The federal government is releasing billions of dollars to cities across the country to help them recover from financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Frey told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS his plan to pump the funds into the city is an "urgent need."
“We need to not only do get this right, but we need to get this right quickly,” Frey said. “There is an urgent need to get this, about $90 million, out and into our city and get it to the communities that are struggling the most with the whole purpose of jump-starting our economy.”
Frey said the city has $135 million of American Rescue Plan money in the bank already, and he is proposing ways to spend $90 million of it immediately — forgoing the usual budgeting process of public hearings — because many people and small businesses are facing a crisis. One part of his plan is to spend $28 million on affordable housing, which includes helping people in financial need with rent and mortgage catch-up payments and more beds for homeless shelters.
“We don’t want a bunch of people getting evicted, we don’t want a bunch of people getting foreclosed upon because they were hit particularly hard due to the recession over the last year,” Frey said. “So we do have additional funding for that specifically.”
Frey also said he is committing about $37 million for economic recovery measures to help small businesses hurt by the government shutdown and the civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd. The mayor said he also plans on putting roughly $12 million into public safety with half of that money going to the Minneapolis Police Department and the other half to the Minneapolis Office of Crime Prevention.
The full City Council is expected to vote on Mayor Frey’s proposed emergency funding plan this Friday.
Copyright 2021 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company