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Why the city of St. Louis is a big winner in $1.9T stimulus package

The city would pull in $459 million in federal money, according to the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis with Kansas City a distant second at $195 million

ST. LOUIS — The city of St. Louis is expected to be the state's biggest municipal winner from the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus bill passed Wednesday by Congress, according to an estimate being circulated locally.

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The city would pull in $459 million in federal money, according to the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis. Kansas City would come in a distant second, at $195 million, followed by St. Joseph ($40 million), Springfield ($39 million) and Columbia ($24 million).

The amounts are substantial, said Pat Kelly, executive director of the Municipal League.

"I think we're all trying to get our arms around those kinds of allocations because I think cities are going to have to make sure they're using these funds appropriately," he said.

In the case of St. Louis, the amount would seem to dwarf the government's revenue shortfalls caused by the pandemic — at least so far. Mayor Lyda Krewson has said the pandemic caused city revenues over the past two fiscal years to drop a projected $90 million-plus.

Budget Director Paul Payne on Wednesday said that the hit to the city's budget in the current fiscal year, 2021, isn't yet clear.

But Payne, who said he's also seen similar estimates to those being circulated by the Municipal League, said that the bill, which is being passed with Democratic support over Republican objections, appears to allow for some revenue replacement and also covers pandemic-related expenses. Previous pandemic stimulus laws did not cover revenue replacement for local governments. Payne said the timeline for spending is also not yet clear.

Click here to read the full story from the St. Louis Business Journal.

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