Superior City Council will decide how to use federal recovery funds

Superior City Council will decide how to use federal recovery funds

The Superior City Council will determine how to spend State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) before 2026, otherwise they will lose the money if they don't have it allocated by the end of 2024.

During the pandemic, many cities and communities received federal relief funding. The Superior City Council deliberated on Mayor Jim Paine’s budget proposal which uses State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF).

Although there are some restrictions on how the money can be spent. Some examples are premium pay for essential workers, or investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

“In the case of the City of Superior, that was more than $17 million. Now, that funding came with several restrictions. There were a lot of categories that we had to fit it in, but most importantly, it had timelines,” Mayor Paine said. “We had to spend that money within the first few years. We had to allocate it by the end of 2024 and we had to spend it by the end of 2026.”

Mayor Paine says some of the projects planned range from improvements at billings park, to investments in street maintenance. Although, before the federal funds can be allocated, the proposed budget needs to be approved by the Superior City Council.

“So the budget exists right now. So if the council takes no action, we can keep working off of the existing budget. This amends that budget. That’s why I asked councilors and staff to give me their priorities in advance,” Mayor Paine said. “Tonight, it should be a discussion. Maybe some amendments. I don’t expect many, but then an up or down vote, which which I hope and expect will pass.”

While some city council members were in favor of the new budget proposal, others were hesitant to making changes to reallocate the funds this early in 2024. City Councilor Jack Sweeney proposed making the decision at a later date.

“I’m just talking of the worst case scenario, we can then reallocate that money or recovery within Dec. 31 of this year. But if there’s something major happening is still on the books that we can change that up until October 31 of this year,” Sweeney said. “So my question is, are we going to take a look at this budget somewhere down the line in the next, say, 4 to 5 months to reallocate this again?”

Mayor Paine, however, said he isn’t making any other changes to the budget beyond the proposal to City Council.

“I am going to fairly firmly commit to no more policy changes, and no big shifts to the budget. I’m making that commitment a little bit of nervousness,” Mayor Paine said. “This budget is our best guess at how we can spend this money.”

The majority of the Superior City Council approved Mayor Paine’s budget proposal, which will ensure the money from SLFRF will be used and not lost by 2026.For more information about the you can read more here. Also for other stories with the Superior City Council you can read more here.