City of Flint administration debunks false claims about ARPA application process

FLINT, Mich. — August 4, 2022

A Flint City Council member has falsely claimed that residents can apply for ARPA funds using a form that has been distributed both online and in-person. The form was not approved by city council nor the City of Flint administration. It is not a formal application, and funds cannot be allocated based on the information collected.

“Claims are spreading online that residents can use this form to apply for funds to improve their homes, to have their past due water bills paid, and to purchase commercial property. None of this is true,” Chief Financial Officer Robert Widigan said. “You cannot get money by filling out this form.”

The form in question was created as a way for residents to communicate with city council about their priorities and inform the creation of the ARPA plan. While council members can review the information collected through the city council office, the documents are not legal applications, and no funds can be allocated on this basis.

On June 14, 2022, the administration presented to city council a budget that was developed based on residents’ input. While city council has not yet taken action on the budget as a whole, the administration has been able to take action in these areas:

  • Premium Pay $2,776,075.46
  • Public Safety Recruitment Incentives $500,000
  • Speed Humps $74,570
  • Miller Road Water Main Replacement $2,173,634.27
  • Witness Protection Program $50,000
  • Blight Equipment $58,394.23
  • Funding to Demolish Blighted Structures $16,000,000

In addition, the administration has put the following resolutions before city council and action is pending:

  • $300 Residential Water Bill Relief Credit $8,600,000
  • Funding to the United Way of Genesee County to continue water and food distribution at Bethel United Methodist Church, Asbury United Methodist Church, and Greater Holy Temple COGIC $450,000

Plans for the remaining ARPA funds can be found in this document on the City of Flint’s website.

The City of Flint’s official ARPA application process is forthcoming. Consultants Ernst & Young and Community Foundation of Greater Flint are working to create accessible web-based and print applications. All applications for funds must meet specific program criteria and will be vetted by these consultants.

“By law, we need to follow the correct processes for allocating federal grant dollars.” Chief Legal Officer Bill Kim said. “We are putting in the work to ensure that our ARPA application process is sound.”