Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Public Survey to Guide ARPA Investment

Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Public Survey to Guide ARPA Investment 

Survey Available in Nine Languages and Open for four weeks; Funds to be used for Public Health, Racial and Economic Equity, Broadband, or Water Resources 

Burlington, VT – Today, Mayor Miro Weinberger announced the launch of a new public survey seeking community feedback on several projects eligible to be funded using ARPA money. These projects have the opportunity to positively impact Burlington by meeting a number of high-priority goals including public health, racial and economic equity, broadband, and water resources.  

“After a prolonged period of historic disruption and uncertainty, we have the opportunity to emerge a stronger, more sustainable, and more just community by making permanent innovations that emerged during the pandemic and investing these one-time federal dollars wisely,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “In order to get this right we need to hear from the Burlington community to understand their needs and priorities and learn from their perspectives.” 

On March 11, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law, awarding millions of dollars directly to cities. As a result, the City of Burlington has over $15 million to invest in future initiatives. According to the federal guidelines, these funds must be used for projects that respond to the health crisis, support broadband access, improve water systems, support tourism, or address negative economic impacts for individuals, households, or businesses – specifically, addressing disparities in health, education, and housing.  

Thus far, the City has obligated over $10 million of the $27 million ARPA funds  including approximately $7.3 million through the budget process to close gaps from lost revenues due to COVID-19. Since the budget process, supporting the City’s ongoing public health response and initiating an equitable economic recovery have been clear priorities of the Administration in stewarding these significant one-time federal funds. Other ARPA disbursements proposed by the Administration and approved by the City Council include $880,000 for economic recovery, pandemic response, and constituent services, $850,000 for police officer retention and recruitment, and $1.79 million for public health, property tax relief, and water resources.  

Mayor Weinberger has instructed the Economic Recovery Director, Kara Alnaswari, and her team to create a public engagement plan around the investment of the City’s remaining $15 million in ARPA funds. The Economic Recovery Team has studied the US Treasury Interim Final Rule and subsequent Treasury FAQs, consulted with local legal experts to clarify interpretations, researched how other municipalities plan to use funds, and carefully monitored state and federal programs to avoid redundancies. The Director then convened an internal ARPA Task Force, including members of REIB, CEDO, and the City’s COVID Response Leader to assist in reviewing potential projects and creating a survey to encourage public participation. The Survey, available online, will also be distributed by volunteers for four weeks to solicit responses from a broad section of the Burlington community.  

“The Economic Recovery Team has developed a strong outreach plan and we are dedicated to gathering input from as many Burlington residents as we can,” said Economic Recovery Director Kara Alnasrawi. 

The Survey will be available online until November 9: ARPA Action Plan — Love Burlington. Next steps for the Economic Recovery team will be hosting a town hall to provide the community with the chance to give additional input. 


Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office