The measure also includes $33 million earmarked to jumpstart business development along four major north St. Louis commercial strips that Jones says doesn’t meet federal guidelines for using American Rescue Plan Act money approved by Congress.
Jones, citing advice from city attorneys and accountants, said the federal rules don’t allow the aid to be allocated to general economic development.
“The most recent U.S. Treasury guidance indicates general economic development is not an allowable use of the ARPA funds as a general rule,” Interim City Counselor Matt Moak said in a memo released before the meeting by Jones’ office.
“Accordingly, in absence of further clarity from the U.S. Treasury, recommendations for use of ARPA funds should comply with this parameter.”
The opinion was reached in conjunction with Rubin Brown, an accounting firm working with the city regarding the use of federal pandemic money.
Moak’s opinion also said a $20 million citywide housing development fund included in the bill also would not follow federal guidelines.
Reed’s plan includes much of the $84.1 million in spending recommended by Jones but has some major additions, including the development aid.
The overall bill was given preliminary aldermanic approval on a 27-1 vote.
Originally Appeared Here