At the Wilton Manor’s City Commission meeting on Oct. 26, we shared with residents details about the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding our city is expected to receive and outlined the proposed spending plan.

Our city is expected to receive $6,388,889 in funding.

The ARPA funding has a limited scope of allowable uses. It is intended to help local and state government agencies respond to the COVID-19 public health crisis and deal with the negative economic impact within our communities. The funds can be spent directly for providing services related to COVID-19, providing financial support for governmental services that were impacted by lost revenues, providing pay for eligible workers who perform essential work, as well as making necessary investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

We intend to spend most of the funding — approximately $5.6 of the $6.3 million — on infrastructure improvements that our city previously identified as critical upgrades. We are incredibly grateful for this funding which will ensure key projects are completed sooner and without taxpayers having to cover the bill through an increased mileage rate.

The proposed uses for the remaining funds include:

1. Two hundred thousand dollars to be allocated to Small Business Recovery Assistance Grants that will be made available to Wilton Manors Businesses who qualify based on a criterion we will determine in the near future.

2. Providing premium pay for much of our city’s workforce who continued to perform the city’s essential work during the pandemic. This amounts to approximately $1,000 - $2,000 in one-time pay for eligible employees. Given that our city staff is already paid significantly less than the same job would pay at our neighboring cities, this premium payment is one way we can try to pay our staff closer to what they are worth.

3. COVID vaccination incentives of $500 per city employee. Any city employee who voluntarily gets (or has been) vaccinated and shows proof of vaccination will receive the one-time payout. Besides encouraging as high a vaccination rate possible for our staff, this exempts us from having to perform the required costly weekly COVID testing on each unvaccinated employee.

In the coming months, we’ll provide more insight into exactly what infrastructure projects will be funded through ARPA as well as details on the Small Business Recovery Assistance Grants. As always, if there is a particular infrastructure concern you have that you wish to share with me, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- Chris Caputo, Wilton Manors City Commissioner