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Mann: 'It's Too Early' To Vote On Cranley's Stimulus Spending Proposals

david mann
City of Cincinnati
Council Member David Mann

A Cincinnati City Council committee Monday declined to vote on four ordinances from Mayor John Cranley that would appropriate federal stimulus money. The city is expected to receive about $290 million from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Cranley submitted ordinances to appropriate $14 million for programs to support the arts, outdoor dining and restaurant grants.

The first installment of ARPA money is expected by May 11; officials are also waiting on official guidance from the U.S. Treasury on what the money can be used for.

Budget and Finance Chair David Mann says there's not yet enough information to start spending the money.

"My understanding is that the deficit hole the city faces, and which we definitely want to fill first, is a number that is very much in flux," Mann said.

The next fiscal year budget must be adopted by June 30. Mann says he's worried about the interaction between the budget and decisions about stimulus spending.  

"To make decisions on one without having an understanding about the other seems to me very, very difficult," Mann said.

Council members say they want to avoid overlap with programs from the state and Hamilton County as well.

"We don't know what the county's doing because there's no other government, that I'm aware of, in any of the three states that is going as fast as we seem to be going," said Chris Seelbach. "So I'm glad to hear there seems to be consensus about slowing down."

Members heard public comment Monday in a second public hearing on the topic. Mann says he plans more public hearings. An online survey from Mann's office has garnered more than a thousand responses so far.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.