The Long Beach City Council approved a preliminary plan to spend $235 million in funding for the Long Beach Recovery Act, which includes an additional $12.35 million announced at its Tuesday meeting.
“From a public official standpoint, we won’t see these types of windfalls. I don’t expect to see anything like this in the near future,” Councilmember Al Austin said. “This is certainly extraordinary.”
The main components of the plan remain unchanged from the City’s initial proposal on March 8.
Mayor Robert Garcia’s recommendations for the $12.35 million, which were approved unanimously, are as follows:
- $2 million for micro-mobility and public transit pilot programs
- $2 million for direct income pilots
- $1.25 for economic empowerment zones (like El Mercado de Long Beach)
- $1 million for childcare and early childhood education
- $5 million in housing support (broken down into $1 million for three additional staff members, $1 million for a potential public land trust and $3 million for mortgage assistance)
- $300,000 for the Long Beach Justice Fund
- $500,000 for language access and translation services
- Elimination of library fees
“There’s so much in this plan. It’s focused on the people, equity is baked in throughout this process,” Councilmember Rex Richardson said. “We need to make sure that these investments stand the test of time and are here for future generations.”
The council must spend this funding before the end of 2024.
City Manager Tom Modica cautioned councilmembers to think of the funds in the same way they would for a two-year grant.
“It really isn’t money that we can use to expand services long-term, because it’s not going to be here for very long,” he said. “Any staff positions you see being proposed are really funded for two years, and then they would go away.”
Though the council unanimously approved the plan, the City will have to be flexible with its options. Modica said that the City will receive more specific regulations on how the funding can be spent in 60 days.
“This item is the beginning,” Austin said. “We still have to roll our sleeves up. We still have a lot of work to do.”
The next Long Beach City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, March 23 at 5 p.m. via teleconference.