Michigan Municipal League
C: (810) 874-1073; [email protected]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 18, 2021
Michigan Municipal League Offers Guidance to Community Leaders on American Rescue Plan
League President William Wild: ARP Is an Opportunity to Invest in Residents
Ann Arbor, Michigan – After several weeks of speculating and waiting, Michigan Municipal League has reviewed the151-page guidelines for the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and offers guidance to community leaders.
“This support represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Michigan municipalities to reflect on the needs of our communities and strategically invest these resources in our future, building community wealth for our residents and businesses,” said William R. Wild, president of the MML and Mayor of Westland. “This document is a lot to digest and we encourage all Michigan communities to be deliberate and collaborative in deciding how to best use this funding in ways that are impactful and have long-term benefits for their community.”
The League will be working with its partners and National League of Cities to explore ways to leverage and amplify the funding received with other available resources.
A key part of the American Rescue Plan is that the estimated money received does not have to be allocated until the end of 2024. This provides needed time to determine how this support is best utilized.
“All Michigan municipalities have faced tough times over the last 20 years with declines in revenue sharing and property taxes, and having to make tough decisions during this time,” said Wild. “The American Rescue Plan gives us an opportunity to invest in our cities and emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.”
When it comes to spending the ARP dollars, the League encourages community leaders to make their decisions through the lens of community wealth building.
“This means making sure your decisions are inclusive and focused on recovery in ways that benefit everyone,” Wild said. “This means listening, planning, and investing in the community instead of merely trying to crawl back to zero. This means asking questions like ‘what should we be investing in to help the people who need the most help?’”
Each community has their own distinct challenges and struggles, so the League encourages every community to make decisions that best meet the needs of the people.
In addition, the League encourages leaders to ask questions like “what do our people need to fix in their lives so they can improve themselves and their own quality of life in their community?”
Michigan’s communities have stepped up time and time again to find creative, innovative ways to move us forward.
“Michigan communities have endured population decline, flooding, infrastructure failures, social and racial unrest, economic devastation, major demographic shifts, drug epidemics, declining public health—both physical and mental—all topped off by a global pandemic that threatened to bring us to our knees,” Wild said.
Cities have risen to the occasion to help each other, and to keep the wheels turning on the basics of local government including public safety, roads and infrastructure, parks, among others. While the pandemic might be global, its affects are felt locally. Many of us have lost loved ones and friends; restaurants and small businesses have suffered tremendously; children and schools have struggled to adapt to remote learning.
“In short, now is the time to invest in the needs of our community,” Wild said. “Local government belongs to its residents. By working together, we will create a plan that responsibly invests in our people and our overall economic recovery while also paying dividends long into the future.”
For additional information, contact the League’s Matt Bach, assistant director of strategic communications, at (810) 874-1073 (cell) and [email protected].
Michigan Municipal Leagueis dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at mml.org.