SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — City Council’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Committee met Tuesday to discuss the results of a community survey conducted earlier this year.

The survey was a way to determine funding priorities. The four-page survey was mailed to 5,000 randomly selected households in Springfield.

The funding categories ranked in order of importance are:

  • Public safety and crime prevention (55%)
  • Homeless and housing services (40%)
  • Community health and wellness (37%)
  • Premium pay for essential workers (36%)
  • Stabilizing and revitalizing neighborhoods (29%)
  • Quality of Life (29%)
  • Economic recovery and growth (24%)
  • Public facility preservation and enhancement (22%).

After reviewing the survey results, the committee voted to recommend the use of ARPA dollars for retention pay for all full-time Fire Department, Police Department, and Health Department staff. This includes full-time contract employees.

The recommendation includes a total of up to $6000 per person over a three-year period. The recommendation will be evaluated by the full City Council for consideration soon, with retention pay potentially effective in early 2022.

“It’s very clear that top priority of Springfield citizens is public safety and crime prevention. The survey results tell us what people want to address pertaining to officer retention and public safety,” said Mayor Pro Tem Matthew Simpson, who chairs the ARPA Committee.

The ARPA committee, which is charged with allocating the $40 million in federal aid the City of Springfield has received, is comprised of Simpson, Councilmen Andy Lear, and Abe McGull, and Councilwoman Heather Hardinger.