County launches survey for input on ARPA spending


St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, right, and his wife, Jennifer, head to the polls Tuesday morning in Creve Coeur to vote for Page in the Democratic primary. Jennifer Page was dressed in scrubs to head to her job at Mercy Hospital South.

Residents of St. Louis County can now fill out a survey online to share how they think the county should spend funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

The online survey launched last week on the county website, Click the “Community Needs Survey” icon on the homepage. The survey will be live for three weeks. In the coming days, St. Louis County will announce the days and times for both virtual and in-person town halls happening in March where the community also will be able to provide feedback.

The team is led by Stephanie Lewis, chief transformation officer; Veta Jeffery, chief diversity officer; and Ethel Byndom, director for the office of community engagement. The survey was developed in coordination with the County Council. To help residents better understand and follow the ARPA spending process, an online portal detailing the expenses will be available on the county’s website next week.

“Hearing from our residents on what the needs are in their communities is critical especially as we talk about recovering from this pandemic,” Page said in a press release. “This newly assembled team has deep roots in the community and brings a tremendous amount of experience to the table. I’m excited to see this new initiative unfold.”

Cal Harris, chief of staff for Page, orchestrated the outreach initiative. He said putting together the community outreach team was a priority to ensure that the response to the pandemic continues to be an equitable one. Jeffery said the survey and town halls are platforms designed to reach as many residents as possible.

“We are intentionally working to make certain that we include opportunities for those whose lives have been disproportionally impacted during this pandemic,” Jeffery said. “The pandemic has drastically changed our lives and needs have rapidly changed since the last distribution of funds. While the funds won’t solve all the problems our families are facing, the surveys offer an opportunity for us to learn what matters most to you today.”