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City of Columbia wants residents’ help for ARPA fund spending


The City of Columbia is conducting a community engagement project to figure out the best way to spend the second half of its American Rescue Plan funding.

The city has spent half of the $25 million in ARPA funds, but still has areas in need of the funds.

For over a year the city has been working to allocate its $25,000,000 in ARPA funds.

Columbia/Boone County Director of Public Health Stephanie Browning says, "again trying to expand our reach to those who may not normally participate in these types of activities."

The city has already allocated half of the $25,000,000 it was given but is now turning it over to residents to voice how they want the funds spent.

On June 1, the city will be launching its community engagement survey to get a better idea of where residents want the money to go. The survey will be multi-lingual and paper copies will be provided for those with no access to a computer.

The city council has approved three workforce development grants for Job Point, Moberly Area Community College, and The Loop costing over a million dollars in ARPA funds.

A grant is currently underway for a comprehensive homeless services planning center.

"We have a lot of committed organizations that are committed to working collaboratively and moving a project forward," said Randy Cole, CEO of the Columbia Housing Authority.

The city, county and five non-profit providers are currently working on the planning process for the center. A final plan is due in September.

"Once we complete the planning process i think it will really crystallize what capital funds we need to fund the project," said Cole. 

The city is evaluating a proposed behavioral crisis service center that would be open 24/7, seven days a week. 

Council hopes to start the planning process for community violence prevention.

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.


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