ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County has inched closer to deciding how it will spend $83 million of American Rescue Plan funding.
The federal government is giving millions to counties and cities to help their communities after COVID.
County Executive Sam Page said in a briefing on Monday that the top three things people wanted to see the money allocated were healthcare, education, and infrastructure.
St. Louis County originally received $193 million in ARPA funds.
Page also laid out recommendations from his office for some entities to allocate $108 million of the ARPA funding.
Carolyn Seward, the CEO of Family and Workforce Centers of America and partner at the Metropolitan Education and Training Center in Wellston, Missouri said the $5 million in American Rescue Plans will do the facility a whole lot of good.
More than 4,000 people go through employment and training services at the facility to prepare for the workforce.
"Making sure that there are quality wages and working with employers that can provide quality wages for participants graduating from the programs,” Seward said.
Seward added the funds could benefit a future auto repair program and expansions in diesel work.
“Making sure that skill-based programs. We have the necessary materials that we have are up to date and relevant in this job market,” Seward.
$10 million of the money was recommended for non-profits providing child care, increasing access to food, and expanding health care services.
Laura Roeseler, chief executive officer of the Epilepsy Foundation, said it would also benefit their mission.
“So many non-profits rely on special events and we're not alone in that. The ability to not have events and the lack of events during the pandemic really impacted our income and our revenue," Roeseler said.
The foundation connects with and supports about 6500 people living with the disease.
Roeseler added that COVID and its impact made their services more in demand.
They were seeing folks having breakthrough seizures and just needing help managing that.
"Now we're addressing some of the serious issues that we have in St. Louis and hopefully getting the appropriate funding to make sure that those needs are met and the organizations that provide those services can continue to do what they need to do," Roeseler said.
- $5 million to the MET Center in Wellston, Missouri, which provides job training and other workforce development specialties.
- $7.5 million to support small businesses in the county. "Family-owned businesses are the backbone of our community," Page said.
- $10 million to assist nonprofits in providing child care, increasing access to food and expanding health care services.
- $10 million in a "rainy day" fund for emergency spending, Page said.
- $15 million to repair and maintain roads, especially in unincorporated areas of St. Louis County.
- $5 million for the Jamestown Mall demolition in Florissant, Missouri, to make the area "more appealing to developers," Page said.
- $10 million minimum to the North St. Louis County Business and Workforce District on University of Missouri–St. Louis' south campus.
The St. Louis County Council is scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. Monday to discuss survey results.