The following is a statement from Mayor Tishaura O. Jones regarding President Lewis Reed’s inability to resolve provisions in Board Bill 2 that fall outside U.S. Treasury rules at today’s Board of Estimate and Apportionment. Last week, the City Counselor’s office, in collaboration with City auditors charged with CARES Act and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) compliance, released an opinion highlighting how language in the bill does not follow U.S. Treasury rules for allocation of funds:
“The City Counselor issued an opinion that found $33 million of provisions in the Board Bill brought by President Lewis Reed today fall outside of federal regulations for spending American Rescue Plan Act funds. Comptroller Green and I agreed that as fiscal stewards of our city, we cannot approve legislation that goes against U.S. Treasury rules and could force St. Louis to pay back millions of dollars in funds.
“The President said last week that since our city is looking to allocate hundreds of millions in federal dollars, ‘we can’t afford to mess this up.’ Comptroller Green and I agree with his assessment. Yet his refusal to fix provisions to comply with federal regulations, despite multiple attempts by my office to work with him on this issue, will hold up millions of dollars in direct relief and public health infrastructure for St. Louis families. My administration is exploring all options to make sure St. Louisans get the support they need during this difficult and critical time.”