American Rescue Plan Provides $350 Million Dollar Capital Infusion to the City of Buffalo

March 11, 2021

President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion-dollar American Rescue Plan today. The City of Buffalo will receive over $350 million dollars in response to Covid-19 pandemic related expenses. The funds will be received in two lump sum payments over the next two years; with the directive to spend it over the next four years. The City will receive the first payment 60 days from today and the second 12 months later.

In Fiscal Year 2021, the City budgeted $65 million dollars in Federal Disaster Relief funding. The American Rescue Plan meets the amount budgeted and provides surplus funding.

Barbara Miller-Williams, City of Buffalo Comptroller, states, “These resources increase the positive outlook for the city over the next four years and offer the opportunity for investments in projects that will improve the quality of life, reduce ongoing expenses, and maintain or enhance the city’s credit rating. However, the guidelines for use of COVID relief funds will need to be carefully analyzed when additional details of the legislation become available. One of the top priorities of the Comptroller’s office is to repay the $25 million-dollar Revenue Deficiency Note, due on December 31st, 2021. We will seek to replenish City coffers for COVID expenses and lost revenue from parking, sales and hospitality taxes, and licenses. Following these steps the Mayor and City Council will have the opportunity to apply the remaining funds under the Federal guidelines; if allowable, increase the City general fund balance, specifically the Rainy Day and Unassigned accounts.”