For once the city of Springfield and Sangamon County have plenty of new money. The city will have $33.8 million and the county $37.8 million in federal pandemic-relief funds with few restrictions on spending. As Sangamon County administrator Brian McFadden and Springfield budget director Bill McCarty told the Citizens Club July 23, spending guidelines for American Rescue Plan funds emphasize cooperation between governments, transparency and spending to benefit low-income census tracts. Addressing homelessness has wide appeal, as does expanding broadband availability, and a new morgue is in the works. But city and county leaders need more big but practical ideas for spending these one-time millions. It is the job of citizens to give them solid but creative proposals. –Fletcher Farrar, editor and CEO

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