Winston-Salem is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is being spent wisely by community organizations. 

In the new 2023-2024 budget, the city allotted $215,630 to pay for the monitoring of ARPA grantees. The money is funding the salaries of two analysts who are charged with making sure that all organizations that receive ARPA funds are meeting performance metrics. They’ll also review any invoices submitted to verify money is being spent appropriately.

“So especially with us having received $51.7 million, that's a lot of funding to be responsible for," says Tiffany Oliva, director of intergovernmental affairs and strategic initiatives for the city of Winston-Salem. "And so truly, that line item is less than 1% of the total award we received. And so I think it's our responsibility to make sure that projects are successful.”

Oliva noted this kind of monitoring is required by ARPA. And she says that her office is aiming to implement a similarly rigorous system for all community agencies that receive funding from the city. 

“We're working on trying to standardize that and enhance performance expectations," says Oliva. "We've always collected performance metrics, we've always tracked them. We just want to do a stronger job of that.”

Oliva says the new analysts are currently monitoring about 14 different ARPA-funded projects and will oversee several more before the grant sunsets at the end of 2026.

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