The City of Sikeston has received the first half of their American Rescue Plan Act funds and now city officials must decide how to use the funding. The City of Sikeston will receive $3,233,210.22 in ARPA funds with the first half of the money received by the City. The second half of the funds will be received in 12 months. All of the funds must be obligated by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026 with the eligible uses of the funds falling under guidelines set by the Treasury Department. During Monday’s Sikeston City Council meeting, City officials presented the council with a draft for spending the funds. The main things funded in the draft were storm water projects, some COVID relief measures and some parks and recreation type projects in qualified census tracks that are allowed. Things on the draft were $20,000 for upgraded accessibility to the city’s website, $60,000 for purchases of PPE, $20,000 for broadcast equipment for city council meetings Another idea council members talked about was improved internet for Sikeston residents and possibly hotspots the public could utilize. Also on the draft was $600,000 to finish the Rail Trail from Downtown Sikeston west to Sunset Drive, including connecting to Lincoln University. A question was raised at the meeting asking why 20% of the funds were being proposed for a “pet project” that was aesthetic rather than fixing problems. Officials say they still have time to have more discussions.