City Council votes to invest $61.7 million in COVID-19 relief funds to help residents and businesses

Sacramento City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to spend $61.7 million in federal relief funds on investments that will make Sacramento cleaner, safer and more welcoming for customers and employees in Old Sacramento, the Central City and along commercial corridors.

“Today is the beginning of the Sacramento comeback,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg declared at a morning press conference with fellow Councilmembers Katie Valenzuela and Jay Schenirer along with business leaders from Old Sacramento, downtown and midtown.

“These funds are going to be critical for us to reopen downtown,” said Michael Ault, Executive Director of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership.

The amounts approved Tuesday are the first specific allocations from the City’s American Relief Plan allocation. The Council in September approved broad categories for spending the $112 million in ARP funds Sacramento will receive over the next two years. More specific spending items will be approved in the coming weeks.

Here are some highlights from the expenditures the Council approved Tuesday:

  • $41 million to implement the City’s comprehensive siting plan for homeless housing solutions with the goal of creating more than 5,000 beds, roofs and safe spaces. This plan will improve safety and cleanliness of the city by getting people out of disparate encampments

  • $5 million for Old Sacramento and downtown core

  • Security cameras for Old Sacramento and more flexibility for street, alley closures.

  • $1.5 million for youth violence prevention programs citywide

  • $8.2 million to support small businesses citywide

  • Of this, $2 million will go to help restaurants thrive with outdoor dining through the city’s al fresco dining program, which will be made permanent.

  • $200,000 will help businesses remove boards from their windows.

  • $2 million for better lighting in areas that are high in pedestrian traffic.

  • $250,000 for creation of city-wide E-gift card program that will allow an unlimited number of businesses to participate. Customers could buy the card and use it at any of the businesses. City funds will allow card to be offered at a discount.

  • $700,000 for grants to help attract special events and attractions. These grants will let us grow small locally produced events until they become big and add to our culture and creative economy.

  • $375,000 to recruit businesses to storefronts in older corridors throughout the city