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Consultant Will Help R.I. Spend ARPA Money

Hoping to make sure it spends millions of federal dollars wisely, Rock Island will call in some outside help.

Monday night, the city council will consider proposals from two local firms that would help it spend 26.5 million dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act.

City Manager Randy Tweet says Rock Island must allocate the money by the end of 2024, and spend it by 2026.

"The council wants to make sure they look at a long-term vision, so five years from now when we look back we don't think 'well where did that money go ?' We can actually see that we're in a better place than we were five years before."

The federal money can be spent on a variety of local projects including water and sewer systems, broadband service, and making up for revenue lost during the pandemic.

"For some of our aldermen this is very similar to a disaster recovery plan, just like FEMA would have. So they see it as essentially the disaster was COVID and how do we recover from that."

The council received nine proposals, and aldermen chose the Sedona Group in Moline and Wastyn and Associates of Davenport as finalists.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.