Dominic Aliano

Concord seeking input for spending COVID relief funds

Dominic AlianoCONCORD, CA (Feb. 21, 2022) — The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the lives of so many people in our community and around the world, from sickness and death to job loss, housing instability and economic uncertainty.

I am grateful that our state and federal leaders have recognized the need for providing financial assistance to people who are struggling.

The City Council identified “securing federal COVID-19 relief funding” as one of our primary goals for 2021. Fortunately, we have been able to do this through different state and federal programs, with the most recent being the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which Congress passed last March. It provides $1.9 trillion intended to address the ongoing economic recovery following substantial financial losses suffered during the pandemic, including $130 billion for local governments. This money was divided evenly between counties and local government agencies, with funding for cities based on 2019 populations.

As our staff shared in previous City News publications and at our Aug. 24, 2021, council meeting, the city of Concord expects to receive $27 million in ARPA recovery funds. We have allocated $8 million to fund the city’s COVID testing program for staff and to provide essential services when revenues fell short during the pandemic.

We are seeking community feedback on how Concord should best utilize the remaining $19 million for the benefit of the city and our residents. Potential uses of this funding are nearly limitless. However, it is important to note that these are one-time dollars, so we will be looking at opportunities to make one-time investments in projects or programs that have another method of sustainability.

I encourage you to share your thoughts with us at our community workshop at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, via Zoom. Log-in details are available at

You can also provide feedback through our surveys. We have created one for residents, one for Concord businesses and one for nonprofit organizations that serve Concord residents. These surveys will remain open until March 11, and links to each of them can be found on the ARPA web page listed above.

The council will receive a summary of feedback from the community workshop and surveys this spring, and our next step will be to determine how to allocate the remaining $19 million. The funds must be allocated by Dec. 31, 2024, and spent by Dec. 31, 2026.

My council colleagues and I are committed to ensuring that these funds are invested in ways that will produce the greatest good for Concord.

Since the pandemic began, we have received and allocated more than $4 million in various recovery-focused state and federal funds to provide residential and commercial rental/tenant assistance and legal services, food distribution, small business grants and rent relief, remote learning assistance to local schools, and COVID testing and personal protective equipment.

Now, with $19 million in currently unallocated federal funding, we have an opportunity to make an even greater investment in the future of our community. I look forward to hearing your ideas and, ultimately, emerging from this pandemic stronger than ever.

Email questions and comments to the mayor at