Logo courtesy of City of Springfield

Springfield Commitee Recommends Spending ARPA Money for Retention Pay for Police, Firefighters and Health Department Staff

If Springfield City Council says yes, every full time fire department, police department and health department employee retention pay up to $6,000 person person over a three year period.

It’s the first real recommendation we’ve seen from a city council committee studying how the city should spend its share of just over $40 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

A survey of community members identified public safety and crime prevention as the number one funding priority for the city.

Here are additional details from the City of Springfield’s news release:

City Council’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Committee met Tuesday to review the results of a community survey conducted earlier this fall to determine funding priorities.

A four-page questionnaire was mailed on Sept. 27, to 5,000 randomly selected households living within the city limits of Springfield. Results are based on 1,438 completed questionnaires (1,237 mail and 201 online). Overall findings have a +/- 2.6% of error (95% confidence interval). 

The funding categories ranked in order of importance are: 

  1. Public safety and crime prevention (55%)
  2. Homeless and housing services (40%)
  3. Community health and wellness (37%)
  4. Premium pay for essential workers (36%)
  5. Stabilizing and revitalizing neighborhoods (29%)
  6. Quality of Life (29%)
  7. Economic recovery and growth (24%)
  8. Public facility preservation and enhancement (22%). 

After the review of the survey results, the committee voted to recommend use of ARPA dollars for retention pay for all full-time Fire Department, Police Department and Health Department staff. This includes full-time contract employees. The recommendation includes a total of up to $6000 per person over a three-year period. The recommendation will be evaluated by the full City Council for consideration soon, with retention pay potentially effective in early 2022. 

“It’s very clear that top priority of Springfield citizens is public safety and crime prevention. The survey results tell us what people want to address pertaining to officer retention and public safety,” said Mayor Pro Tem Matthew Simpson, who chairs the ARPA Committee.

At the suggestion of City Manager Jason Gage, there was also support expressed by the committee for a mid-year salary adjustment for all City employees to be achieved with non-ARPA funds and with consideration based on the fact that the City has seen solid revenue growth. This would require action by the full City Council and a timeline has not yet been determined. 

The ARPA committee, which is charged with allocating the $40 million in federal aid the City of Springfield has received, is comprised of Simpson, Councilmen Andy Lear and Abe McGull and Councilwoman Heather Hardinger. For more information and all Committee materials, visit springfieldmo.gov/ARPA

Download the ARPA Survey results presentation

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