Omaha is receiving about $112 million from the federal government to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds are coming from the American Rescue Plan Act, the $1.9 trillion package intended to combat economic effects of the pandemic, including by sending financial aid directly to local governments.
The city received half of its allotment in May and will receive the other half next spring.
The city is asking for feedback from the public about how it should use the dollars, Stothert said. A feedback form and more information can be found on the city’s website at: cityofomaha.org/american-rescue-plan-act.
“We want to get that out to the community as soon as we possibly can,” Stothert said.
Council President Pete Festersen said he looked forward to reviewing Stothert’s proposed 2022 budget in more detail and receiving public input.
Festersen said he’s most interested in working in how the federal relief dollars can be used.
“That presents an opportunity to do something truly innovative and impactful in the community when it comes to addressing issues such as affordable housing, mental health, poverty and small business assistance,” Festersen said.
Officials have said the American Rescue Plan Act dollars have fewer restrictions than previous rounds of federal pandemic aid. Stothert said the money can be used to replace city revenue losses, support community programs and promote economic recovery across a broad swath of areas of need.
Reece covers Omaha City Hall, including the City Council and Mayor's Office, and how decisions by local leaders affect Omaha residents. He's a born-and-raised Nebraskan and UNL graduate. Follow him on Twitter @reecereports. Phone: 402-444-1127