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Brenda Putnam and Douglas Carlsen, volunteers with a Sherwood Trust Community Leadership class, spread the first of dozens of loads of bark that were delivered by city crews for a new playground at the Mill Creek Sports Complex in this 2017 file photo.

Local projects funded under the American Rescue Plan Act were approved during a recent Walla Walla City Council meeting.

The city of Walla Walla will receive $9,974,964 in the form of two payments. Of this grand total amount, the city has already received half and will receive the second half in 2022.

This money can be spent on things such as recovering from the economic impact of the pandemic, providing government services, essential work support and necessary infrastructure investments.

The immediate needs for this funding were broken down into three categories: response to lost revenue, response to the public health emergency and response to negative economic impact.

The total 2021 fiscal year lost revenue is $2,810,425 of which $2.3 million goes into a general fund that can be spent in any way within the general category. Lost street fund revenue makes up $134,802, and lost lodging tax fund revenue makes up $350,000.

The city will spend about $2.5 million to respond to the public health emergency with the following purchases:

  • Three police positions will be filled for $1 million
  • Funds will cover half the cost of a new fire engine at $322,430
  • Other fire equipment will cost $150,000
  • The Walla Walla Senior Center parking lot will be redone for $350,000
  • And $700,000 is going to the Mill Creek Channel project.

Under responding to the negative economic impact of the pandemic, the city will spend about $3 million on the following:

  • Heritage Square Park is being rebuilt for $1.6 million
  • Improvements are being made to First Avenue and Main Street for $500,000
  • Improvements to the Mill Creek Sports Complex will take $942,000

The total project costs of about $5.6 million were approved unanimously by Council members on Wednesday, June 23.

The remaining $4 million is unallocated point and can be used for future projects. City Manager Nabiel Shawa predicted future projects would be set in the next year to 18 months.

Contact the Union-Bulletin’s reporting intern Abby Malzewski at abbymalzewski@wwub.com.

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