ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County is expected to receive $193 million in federal money, which the county council could formally accept later this week.
County Executive Sam Page outlined his priorities for the American Rescue Plan Act funds in a letter sent to the council. He said the money will “provide an opportunity to make historic investments in building a future where everyone in St. Louis County has access to health, safety and opportunity.”
Page’s priorities for the funds were detailed as follows:
- Spending an estimated $36 million to construct a new health center in North County that will increase health services and in-clinic lab capacity, and to build out a state-of-the-art Substance Abuse Support Center.
- Using an estimated $22 million to expand workforce development programs currently offered at the MET Center in Wellston. Dr. Page’s staff began planning for an investment of this magnitude in the spring.
- Setting aside a significant amount of the funds to replace lost tax revenue, to relieve historical budget pressure for future property tax increases.
- Providing pay raises of $2 per hour to Justice Services staff who provide critical services to residents of the jail and make less than their counterparts in other counties.
“There remain several unmet needs throughout our community, but I hope this summary helps in the Council’s continued deliberations on the ARPA funds, and I look forward to working with you moving forward,” Page wrote in the letter, which states that the council asked for his input on how to allocate the federal money.
St. Louis County previously received $173.5 million in CARES Act funds. Page said his administration used the money to address “the public health, humanitarian, and economic consequences of COVID-19, with special emphasis on addressing the impact the pandemic has had on vulnerable and underserved populations, particularly the African American community and people with chronic medical problems.”
The St. Louis County Council has not yet accepted the federal funds but it could happen as soon as Tuesday. The county has to submit a spending plan to the U.S. Department of Treasury by Aug. 31
Read Page’s full letter to the council in the document below.