Kettering pledges $13.7M in capital and community projects after using ARPA funds for public safety payroll

Editor’s Note: This story is part of a Dayton Daily News series tracking how dozens of our area’s largest governments are spending hundreds of millions of dollars combined from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Visit our “Billions in COVID aid: Where it’s going” special section on our website to see summaries from other communities.

Kettering city officials used nearly all of the city’s $13.9 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds in one fell swoop in order to free up that same amount from the city’s general fund, effectively removing the federal restrictions on how the money can be spent.

The city directly used its ARPA funds to pay for public safety personnel costs, which generally would have been paid through the city’s general fund — a maneuver that was designed to “relieve most of the administrative burden associated with ARPA reporting,” according to city officials.

Kettering promised to use its new $13.9 million surplus on the projects it had previously planned to do with ARPA money, funding capital improvement, capital equipment, and community programs.

Former City Manager Mark Schwieterman said in December that all projects would still be completed, just funded differently.

“The city of Kettering will utilize general fund dollars to assist those who were impacted most by the pandemic,” said Public Information Officer Mary Azbill. “Emphasis is also placed on getting back on track with the capital equipment and capital improvement programs that were delayed or cut due to the uncertainty of the pandemic.”

Kettering’s commitment is broken into three pools of money: about $7.3 million for capital improvements, $4.5 million for capital equipment and another $2 million toward community programs.

Under capital improvements, the city will spend $2.7 million on roadways and water drainage at the Golf Club Estates; another $2.5 million on a road project on Forrer Boulevard and another $1.5 million on Gentile Park, among other projects.

A new fire engine, dump trucks and ambulances highlight a slew of new vehicles the city will acquire through its capital equipment investment.

As for community programs, the city spent $1 million in 2022 for a first time homebuyers/home improvement program in partnership with DayAir Credit Union, and will spend another $1 million on its down payment and rental assistance program for economically-impacted Kettering residents.

Under federal guidelines, ARPA funds must be allocated by the end of 2024 and fully spent by the end of 2026.

Dayton Daily News reporter Nick Blizzard contributed to this report.

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