Washtenaw County, MI – The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners has released a list of potential projects that could be included in the Washtenaw County Rescue Plan. This plan leverages the $71 million the county will receive through the American Rescue Plan’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery program, along with other funding. The total will be approximately $100 million of investment in our community. The potential project list for these investments can be found here.
“The overarching goal of the Washtenaw County Rescue Plan is to help households and businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic while also laying the groundwork for a more equitable future,” said Sue Shink, Chair of the Board of Commissioners and Commissioner for District 2. “The last year has exposed long-lasting disparities that are going to require targeted investments and structural change to address. The Washtenaw County Rescue Plan is one opportunity to begin doing just that.”
The list of potential projects has been organized into seven categories: Connecting Washtenaw County, Encouraging Generational Success, Addressing Housing Affordability and Homelessness, Creating a More Sustainable Community, Supporting a Strong Local Economy, Investing in our Health & Wellbeing, and Practicing Good Government. Not all projects listed qualify for American Rescue Plan funds. Some will require the county to use other available resources and funding streams.
Along with the priority project list, the Board also announced a public engagement process to gather feedback and connect with residents about the Washtenaw County Rescue Plan. This process includes a newly launched survey where residents can express support for different potential projects, offer feedback about each priority category, and suggest other possible uses as part of this plan. Commissioners will also plan to host in-person and virtual town halls in their districts in the coming weeks and months to meet with residents and discuss the Washtenaw County Rescue Plan. Those dates will be announced on the Board of Commissioners website as they are scheduled.
“This is a special opportunity for our community to start moving the needle on so many issues,” said Justin Hodge, Chair of Ways and Means Committee and Commissioner for District 5. “When making decisions as important as this, it’s important that in addition to looking at data and best practices, we also are engaging with our community to make sure this plan is tailored to meet the needs of Washtenaw County residents.”
The survey will be live throughout July for residents to submit their feedback. Town halls and community meetings will continue to be held throughout the summer and fall as specific proposals are developed, voted on, and implemented. Some of the proposed ideas will require future community engagement, meaning that this initial round of outreach will lay the groundwork for additional conversations as the Washtenaw Rescue Plan is implemented over the next 3 to 4 years.
“While we won’t be able to fund everything on this list with these funds, we do believe that with input from our community, we can create a plan that will help everyone in Washtenaw County gain access to the opportunity and resources they need to succeed,” said Chair Shink.