Arlington leaders allocated $12 million from American Rescue Plan funding to shore up cuts made during the pandemic and support maintenance and repairs.
The city has seen $18 million in lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. To offset the economic blow, city government suspended pay raises, froze hiring for vacant positions and postponed programs and progress.
City Manager Trey Yelverton said during the June 8 council meeting that the funds represent a first step in returning to status quo, even though the economic effects of the virus may last for years.
“Since Congress took action on the relief funds for local governments, this is able to allow us to start to turn systems back on,” Yelverton said.
Council approved the appropriations on second reading Tuesday, June 15, with a 6-0 vote.
Mayor Jeff Williams previously told the Star-Telegram he expected most of the roughly $81 million the city received to help restore budget cuts.
The city will put around $1.65 million into the city’s Street Maintenance Fund.
Employee compensation, hiring
Leaders approved $6.1 million to support lifting the hiring freeze on city employees imposed during the early days of the pandemic and will add four new full-time openings for a chief equity officer, a registered nurse in the fire department and two positions in the city’s minority- and women-owned business enterprise program.
The city will also issue a 2% one-time payment to employees and a 2% compensation increase starting June 14.
Council also allocated $63,446 to the Storm Water Utility Fund for employee compensation increases.
Convention and Event Services
The city will add around $4.23 million to the Convention and Event Services Fund. The bureau will receive $2.5 million in support and roughly $1.8 million to account for an operating revenue shortfall.