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Milpitas seeks to pour more funding for community, public safety resources in upcoming budget


Milpitas leaders want to pour roughly half a million dollars into new and existing infrastructure, recreation and public safety resources, part of an ongoing process to finalize next year’s budget.

The City Council Tuesday night discussed ways to spend $483,000 left over from completed city programs previously funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a 2021 federal funding bill that provided families, businesses and governments with resources to recover from the pandemic.

The discussion comes as the council prepares to approve its $248.4 million budget for 2024-25 in June. Roughly half of that budget comes from the city’s general fund — money mainly collected through taxes — and supports police and fire, recreation services, park maintenance and city departments and administration.

Milpitas received its full $16.7 million allotment of ARPA funds in 2022, which city staff used to create roughly 25 programs aimed at improving community services, economic vitality, infrastructure, public safety and technology. The city must use the funds by December 2024 or risk being asked to return them.

In April, the council voted to reallocate any remaining ARPA dollars into the general fund, making it easier to use that money in areas members see fit. Of the $16.7 million, $483,000 is available this year for a one-time reinvestment into community projects, according to the city.

Staff recommended using the money to fund several initiatives, including a new back-up ambulance for the fire department or adding money back into capital improvement projects and Main Street revitalization plans. The council on Tuesday could suggest other services, which the staff would take into consideration and bring back for another council deliberation at a later time.

“We want to hear any feedback,” Deputy City Manager Matt Cano said during the meeting, “so when we come back, we’ve captured all the potential ideas.”

Mayor Carmen Montano proposed setting aside $5,000 to cover the registration fee for members of The Milpitas Community Concert Band, a voluntary band of local musicians who perform family-friendly concert programs and special city events. The annual registration for musicians is $33, plus a $3 transaction fee.

“They are an integral part of the community,” she said during the meeting. “They do concerts for us, practice every Thursday night and they come from all over.”

Montano also recommended reallocating funds to the Milpitas Strategic Property Acquisition Reserve, money the city uses to purchase real estate, and for a small redesign of the north side of City Hall to make it more engaging for locals.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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