The city, Keen said, cannot use the $178 million for pensions or to offset revenue resulting from a tax cut enacted since March 3. He added that the city should not create long-term obligations with the money because it is one-time funding.
Keen said the city should consider ways to address deficits or needs that incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will obtain a draft of recommended funding uses by March’s end, Keen said.
City Council will review and approve the allocations on April 28 and May 3, Keen said, adding that the allocations will be reflected in the fiscal year 2022 budget.
“We’re in the process of gathering the data and reviewing the needs,” Keen said.
The City Council is working to direct more than $15.2 million in separate pandemic relief funding toward rental assistance, but the committee stressed that Atlanta renters still face a deep need for assistance.
About our coverage
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is tracking the money coming into Georgia from the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package. Journalists from across the newsroom will document how the money is administered and spent, whether it accomplishes its goals and whether it creates any unintended consequences. It is part of our commitment to hold government accountable and show our readers how government action affects their lives. Our journalists work hard to be fair and will follow this complex story as it unfolds in the coming months and years.
• Latest coverage of the $1.9 trillion stimulus
• What the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus means for U.S., Georgia
City Councilwoman Jennifer Ide, chair of the council’s Finance Committee, said they need to ensure Atlanta uses funding from any of its available sources to support Atlanta residents who are homeless or struggling to pay rent.
Ide warned that failing to address addiction and homelessness with any of the available funds “will be a big, black mark on the city.”
Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong said Atlanta needs be an arbitrator with property owners and tenants to create “a win-win” scenario for both landlords and residents in order to avoid an “eviction tsunami.”
“We are really facing a serious crisis,” Archibong said. ”The relief that is needed has got to be very practical, has got to be very timely, and it’s going to take a lot of innovative thinkers to figure this out.”