Washtenaw County, MI – Last night, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a historic resolution obligating up to $30.5 million dollars for community investments through the Ways and Means Committee. This proposed package leverages dollars coming to the county through the American Rescue Plan Act, along with other related funds, as part of the larger Washtenaw County Rescue Plan.
“By passing this resolution through the Ways and Means Committee meeting, we are one step closer to bringing about important structural change in our county,” said Justin Hodge, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee and Commissioner for District 5. “With this resolution, we have a unique chance to help build a more equitable community, so that no matter where you live, you have the access to the opportunity you need to be able to thrive.”
Initiatives in this package include addressing immediate concerns around childcare access, connecting all Washtenaw County residents to high speed internet, launching a childhood savings account program to encourage generational success, expanding the county’s weatherization services, and practicing good government. This resolution includes approximately $24 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. The rest of the county’s $71 million allocation is yet to be determined.
“This is the first of several packages we will be rolling out as part of the Washtenaw County Rescue Plan,” said Sue Shink, Chair of the Board of Commissioners and Commissioner for District 2. “Over the next few months and years, we will be passing resolutions like this that tackle important issues facing Washtenaw County residents such as expanding services to address lasting health impacts of COVID-19 as well as existing social determinants of health, tackling disparities in home ownership rates, improving children’s literacy, supporting small businesses, and more.”
This resolution will now go to the full Board of Commissioners meeting on September 15th for a final vote. If approved, the resolution instructs County Administration to work with key community partners on each item to develop action plans, including timelines, evaluation metrics, and more. Some of these initiatives will be launched this fall, while others will likely take several years to be fully implemented.
“The County has been clear from day one that the American Rescue Plan and other related funds are a great opportunity to serve the most vulnerable members of our community. This resolution is a great first step to accomplishing just that,” said Gregory Dill, Washtenaw County Administrator. “The administration and employees of Washtenaw County stand ready to ensure these funds are implemented as transparently and effectively as possible.”