BUFFALO, N.Y. — ​How should Buffalo spend its federal stimulus funding? That’s what the Common Council’s Finance Committee came together to discuss Thursday night.

Buffalo received $331 million from the American Rescue Plan.

The city is looking to use the money on four general categories, “People and Places” and “Progress and Prosperity.”   

People who attended the meeting say they want to see more investment in jobs to help get kids off the streets, water infrastructure, money for the arts and cultural sector, crime prevention and access to education.

Common Council members say no matter where the money goes, there also has to be effort to really sustain the investment in order to change Buffalo for the better.

“This money should not be a gift for two years, and then after two years, when the money is no longer there, organizations fall apart, people go back into default on their water, youth don’t have jobs,” Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen said. “If you don’t do this right, we will give gifts, but there will not be change that sustains us for decades.”

The city has an online survey where you can weigh in on the resources and infrastructure improvements you’d like to see in your community. The survey is open through July 30.

Mayor Byron Brown released the following statement:

"With Congressman Higgins, Clergy, violence prevention organizations and representatives from our region's trauma center, we announced a violence prevention and intervention initiative. This proposal will be presented to the Council as part of our overall recommended budget submission for spending Buffalo's American Rescue Plan funds. I'm pleased the Council held this meeting to generate additional public input and for directing residents to the Buffalo Transformation Fund website and 311 to share their recommendations. We have now received almost 200 comments."