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Mayor, City Manager on San Antonio's largest-ever bond package and the distribution of pandemic-recovery funds

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Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio
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San Antonio's City Council for the 2021-2023 term

The City of San Antonio will ask voters to approve a $1.2 billion municipal bond package in May, and is also weighing how to spend the remaining $229.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act federal funding for San Antonio's pandemic recovery.

If passed, bond money will be allocated for projects in six categories: streets, bridges and sidewalks, parks and recreation, drainage and flood control, affordable housing, municipal facilities, and public safety and health facilities.

For the first time ever, the bond package is expected to include a housing component after voters approved a change to the city charter in 2021. About 95,000 San Antonio households have been identified as housing cost-burdened.

How will City Council decide which areas need the most attention and how much to allocate in the final bond proposal? What projects are most important to voters and how is their input being considered and incorporated?

Last summer the city received $163 million from the federal government’s recovery-driven American Rescue Plan Act and will get a second ARPA allocation this year to further offset financial losses during the pandemic.

Of the total $326.9 million allocated, $97.5 million was approved as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 budget, and $229.4 million remains.

How do municipal leaders decide where to spend these federal dollars? What are the priorities? Is public input incorporated in the allocation process?

What is the current state of the city budget and how much has and will this money help with San Antonio’s recovery?

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*This interview was recorded on Monday, January 10.

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