Saginaw will be adding another tool to appropriately allocate it’s American Rescue Plan Funds.
In a partnership with Guidehhouse incorporated financial advisory group, City officials will better learn the ins and outs of how to appropriately use the $52 million of ARPA money and seek alternative funding sources for those looking for funds that don’t necessarily meet the federal guidelines.
City Manager Tim Morales says a way to look at it: the 15-person advisory committee the city recently appointed will help determine how the city wants to use the money, Guidehouse will help determine if those decisions fall within ARPA rules before they become official.
Morales says working with Guidehouse could help stretch the $52 million by using it on areas of attention that don’t already-have or have upcoming State or Federal grant programs.
The up-to $850 thousand contract will last 3 years (roughly to the deadline the City has to use the money) and will be invoiced on a month-to-month basis; allowing City Council to ramp up or decrease services as desired, or even terminate the deal if no longer needed.
While the contract may look like a lot of money, costing about 1.6% of the city’s grant allocation, Manager Morales says it would cost about the same to hire and recruit employees specialized in accounting or grant allocation.
He adds even if a qualified individual or team was hired at a local level- they wouldn’t nearly have the same resources or network to work with, and would more than likely be laid off after the ARPA allocations were over.