Current Events

St. Joseph City Council discusses latest COVID relief funding in Thursday work session


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St. Joseph City Council members listen to a presentation from Clint Thompson, the community’s director of planning and development, on the city’s recent COVID relief funding at a working session at City Hall on Thursday. Photo by Tommy Rezac.


St. Joseph Post

The city of St. Joseph was allocated $ 39.7 million under the American Rescue Plan Act, which was approved by Congress earlier this year.

The city council is now deciding how best to allocate these funds to those who need them most.

The city council held a working session at City Hall on Thursday with City Administrator Bryan Carter and Planning and Community Development Director Clint Thompson to review the amount and distribution.

The city receives these funds in two stages. The first payment of $ 19.5 million will be made in a matter of days, while the next $ 19.5 million will be made in a year.

Any company, business or household that has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for this funding. St. Joseph Mayor Bill McMurray hopes that families and low-income individuals will particularly benefit from this relief funding.

“If there is a chance we can help some of the poorer families in our community who have been hit in the head,” McMurray said. “First it was the flood, then it was COVID. If we can help you build a good case in your application with the supporting documentation, I really want to do that. “

The city has received funding requests from 18 different institutions and companies across the city. These 18 applicants have applied for $ 13 million together. In the meantime, various departments of the city government have applied for $ 20 million.

McMurray also pointed out that this money can also be used for water, sewer and broadband infrastructure in the city.

However, the mayor urges anyone who believes they are eligible for aid to submit an application as soon as possible.

“We have a one-sided application,” he said. “Clint Thompson and our Planning and Community Development Department can share this with someone if they feel that his organization or he needs it individually or as a small business. We have a few options. It must be the harmful effects of COVID where this is coming from. “

Thompson noted that the city has until the end of 2024 to allocate that $ 39.7 million amount. The council discussed the idea of ​​creating a five-member citizens’ committee made up of either small business owners and / or people working for organizations such as CAP St. Joe that serve low-income people.

This committee will likely be discussed in more detail at the next Council meeting on May 17th and will be put on the agenda as a resolution.

The first deadline for applying for this American Rescue Plan funding was April 30th. But with half of the $ 39.7 million going to town next year, McMurray urges anyone who needs to apply for that money – regardless of whether their application is approved this year or next.

“If anyone feels they want to apply, contact our Planning Community and Development Department,” noted McMurray. “Get the supporting documentation and put it in there so we can summarize the numbers.”

Clint Thompson, St. Joseph Ward development and planning director, speaks at a working session Thursday to the St. Joseph City Council.  Photo by Tommy Rezac.Clint Thompson, St. Joseph Ward development and planning director, speaks at a working session Thursday to the St. Joseph City Council. Photo by Tommy Rezac.

You can follow Tommy on Twitter @TommyKFEQ and St. Joseph Post @StJosephPost.



Robert Dunfee