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Duluth’s pandemic relief spending plan approved by City Council

Duluth American Rescue Plan Funds

DULUTH, MN -- The Duluth City Council voted 9-0 Monday night to approve the $58.1 million the city received from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Last month, Mayor Emily Larson proposed how Duluth should spend the money.

The funds are intended to help the city respond to the impact of COVID-19.

Two weeks ago, the council decided to table to vote.

RELATED: Vote tabled: City council, citizens discuss Duluth’s pandemic relief spending plan

The council approved an amended version of the proposal Monday.

The amendment was proposed by Councilors Anderson, Filipovich, Forsman, and Medved.

"We had the opportunity to vote with our dollars tonight," Councilor Gary Anderson said.

$19.2 million will go toward short and long-term housing.

That is almost a third of the entire budget.

"This is obviously, I think, a very good allocation for this federal money," Councilor Zack Filipovich said.

$12.9 million will be spent on city infrastructure projects, such as addressing lead pipe concerns, street sweeping, and broadband access.

That is $1 million less than Larson's original proposal.

$12 million will be spent on new ventilation for Duluth City Hall.

$2.1 million will go to the social worker pilot program, which is an increase from the originally proposed $1.8 million.

$678,000 will go toward crisis and violence intervention training for public safety.

Other projects include job training, outdoor space improvement, and relief for small businesses.

The city has three years to allocate the funds and until 2026 to spend it all.

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Kendall Jarboe

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