An emergency Indianapolis City-County Council Wednesday produced a unanimous vote to approve Mayor Joe Hogsett’s plan to distribute $76 million in federal CARES Act funding. Councilors were on a time crunch to get the plan passed because states that received coronavirus relief funds have until December 30 to disperse the money or send it back to the federal government.
To date the city has used more than $92 million in CARES Act funding. Indianapolis received its first round of funds in April but it wasn’t until the end of the month when states received spending guidance.
In May, city leaders began conversations to assess areas of need, then in June millions of dollars in federal funds went to programs throughout the city.
Here is the breakdown of how the remaining dollars will be spent:
Public Health Investments
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for teachers: $250,000
- Mental health public awareness campaign: $175,000
- Immigrant welcome center – public health outreach: $58,320
Social Service Investments
- Rental assistance: $7,500,000
- Foreclosure prevention and mortgage refinancing: $7,000,000
- Non-congregate housing -hotel program: $3,180,000
- Homeless services -winter contingency: $5,132,000
- Food bank – community distribution support: $2,100,000
- Gleaners meal school distributions: $750,000
- Step-up violence reduction student outreach: $102,000
- Door to door tenant outreach and eviction prevention assistance: $65,000
- Reentry credit repair and financial coaching: $150,000
- Internet connectivity pilot: $732,150
- Home delivery food services for at risk population: $760,000
Economic and Small Business Recovery
- Small business assistance grant (hospitality program): $7,500,000
- GED equivalency program extension: $2,060,000
- JAG dropout prevention program: $500,000
- Indy achieves -promise scholarship: $172,500
- KIB jobs program: $152,400
- Arts and cultural institutions emergency relief grant: $500,000
- Music cities recovery program round two: $150,000
Technology and Government Expenses
- Building modifications for Indiana convention center: $7,000,000
- Government operations reimbursement: $30,028,964 – mostly public safety salaries
- Mobile worker app: $100,000
Mayor Hogsett said while these funds will help some, he knows this is not a long-term solution.
“We know that these funds, we know that these dollars, huge as they seem are woefully insufficient. Our request of those in Washington is just as urgent, please act to provide additional relief to those suffering in our city.”
Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association President Patrick Tamm said with 80,000 people in Indianapolis who rely on tourism to pay their bills, his industry is just barely scraping by.
Part of the federal dollars would put an additional $7.5 million into the service and entertainment industry, but given all that’s been lost, Tamm isn’t sure how much good that will do.
“The mayor is absolutely correct, $7 million we appreciate his attention to that, but the reality is we need federal help and we need federal help now,” said Tamm.