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Syracuse on track to spend all $123 million in ARPA funds

Ava Pukatch

The City of Syracuse was awarded $123 million in American Rescue Plan Acts or ARPA funds. The city has until December 2024 to fully commit the funds and December 2026 to fully spend them.

Jennifer Tifft, director of strategic initiatives for the city, said the city is on track to meet both of those deadlines. She called the funding a "once in a lifetime" scenario.

"Our budget is I think just under $300 million typically for a year," Tifft said. "This is a plus up of an additional $123 million. It's a lot of additional resources that we can hopefully do some very good things with."

Some of the projects funded through ARPA funds included backfilling revenue lost from COVID-19, digital literacy training for residents, infrastructure investments and summer youth programs.

"A lot of our funding and programs are focused on supporting children, youth and families," Tifft said. "We have a set of projects that are really focused on supporting small businesses and helping with economic recovery in the city."

Councilor Michael Greene chairs the Finance and Taxation Committee. He's stepping down from the council after his term ends this year.

"The top priority for me is making sure the city is on a path to make sure we spend all the money before the deadline runs out," Greene said. "It does sound like we're in a good place to make sure that we're going to use all the money before that time runs out."

Any ARPA money not obligated by December 2024 will need to be returned to the Treasury.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.