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SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall unveils plans for rescue plan funding

SALT LAKE CITY Salt Lake City is expected to receive $85 million of the American Rescue Plan Act.

The stimulus package funds are intended to re-energize local economies amid the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced her six-point plan Monday afternoon for how to spend that money. 

“We can change lives and lifetimes with this funding,” said Mendenhall. 

She said her recommendations came from public comments, surveys, suggestions submitted to her office and best practices from other cities.

The plan would focus money toward childcare and early childhood education, along with workforce training for parents. 

“How far you have to take your kid to childcare impacts your day-to-day life, your quality of life, and in many ways, the character of your own neighborhood,” she said. 

Another aspect of the plan would hire park rangers for open areas like Pioneer Park and Liberty Park, among others. 

“Rangers will play an important role in helping to address a very real concern our city’s residents have had for a long time which is safety,” said Mendenhall.

Some of the money would go toward emergency response services and homelessness.

In addition, there is a focus on buying and retaining land to promote affordable housing. 

The bulk of the money will be spent on increasing wages of city workers and aimed at rehiring positions that the City has struggled to refill. 

“That’s why a significant portion of our rescue plan funding is pledged toward employee compensation and revenue losses that we have experienced due to COVID impacts,” said the SLC mayor.

The City won’t be receiving the funds for another year, but it has to go through a series of approvals to be ready for it when it does come.

The city council will begin its review of the Mayor’s plan this week. 

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