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Plan to spend $93 million in federal pandemic recovery funding presented Monday to Colorado Springs City Council

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- City leaders are calling it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; getting federal money to pay for projects that otherwise wouldn't be funded with local dollars.

That possibility exists because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The city will receive $93 million from the American Rescue Plan Act -- $76 million for a variety of projects and another $17 million specifically for housing needs.

Much of the $76 million will pay for certain infrastructure projects and business/economic recovery; some of it has already been spent on pay increases for public safety personnel.


"There wasn't enough in our budget for pay raises," said Charae McDaniel, the city's chief financial officer. "With the funding, we were able to give them up to 3% of their salary. The funding also prevented us from laying off employees and reducing services."


The remaining $17 million will finance rental payment assistance and a variety of services for the homeless.

Steve Posey, the city's community development manager, said: "We have about 200 units that are specifically for folks who are trying to exit homelessness, and it's a very supportive type of housing model where the tenants actually have access to the services and support that they need to stay safely housed. We feel like we need about 200 more units of that type of housing here in the community."


Some council members expressed concern about other intended uses of the federal money, such as $10 million for watering systems for city-owned golf courses and cemeteries.

City of Colorado Springs

Jeff Greene, chief of staff for Mayor John Suthers, said that the irrigation projects are a high priority because of aging infrastructure.


"Those are examples of what the city has not funded well in the past," he said. "Updating those systems will cut water usage by at least 20 percent."

Other council members questioned allocating $2.5 million as part of a proposed plan to renovate the City Auditorium and possibly transfer its ownership to a private organization.

City of Colorado Springs

"I'm very sensitive to the citizens and the constituents who have concerns about giving up the City Auditorium to a nonprofit that would run it, and maybe not have the benefits that it has had historically," said Tom Strand, council president. "So I want to look hard at that City Auditorium issue."


Among other targets for funding: $8.3 million for a stormwater project in the North Nevada Avenue corridor; $8 million to rebuild the Senior Center; and $5 million to upgrade the police computer-aided dispatch system.

To see the entire spending list, visit: and

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.



  1. “Those are examples of that the city has not funded well in the past,” he said. “Updating those systems will cut water usage by at least 20 percent.”
    That’s not a COVID problem, that a mis-management problem. Stopping wasting my federal tax dollars on your poor leadership!!!

  2. There are three sets of people this money should be used to help: 1) Landlords who got hosed by government-mandated “eviction moratoriums”, 2) Small businesses that were told to close due to government-mandated “essential business” restrictions, and 3) those people who will soon be unemployed due to government-mandated vaccination requirements.

  3. Wait for it.
    Somehow; these funds will be used to raise taxes.
    Check back in two to three years.
    The new ___________ project that was funded by the Recovery Act needs _________ in order to ________, so the city is requesting a tax increase of __________ because ______ .

    Wait for it.

  4. Use the money to offset the price of natural gas this winter. Due to Colorado Springs utilities mismanagement we got gouged for natural gas and the ridiculous high price they paid is being pas*sed off to the consumer.

  5. Due to the high price of natural gas expected this winter many consumers will be struggling to keep their homes warm due to the price gouging in addition to incomes impacted by covid.
    Remember there was supposed to be a investigation into the price gouging but apparently there never was? Pepperidge farm remembers.

  6. Local resident is exactly right. But instead well will spend money fixing the city auditorium and sell it at a loss, throw more money at the same social programs with no discernable change in results, fund surveys, questioniers and study’s to figure out how to spend the money, oh and build more bike lanes.

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