American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
The United States Treasury Department recently released the Final Rules for the American Rescue Plan Act, available at https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/SLFRF-Final-Rule.pdf.
The Board of Supervisors is still in the process of determining if any of its original considerations are impacted by this recent release. Therefore, no final decisions are available at this time. When decisions on projects and amounts are determined, applicants will be notified and listed on our website.
Story County and the American Rescue Plan Act
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. It is meant to speed up the United States' recovery from the economic and health effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding package builds upon the CARES Act from March 2020 and its extension in December 2020. ARPA provides a total of $350 billion in assistance for eligible state and local governments to respond to the economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.
Story County will receive over $18 Million in total funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (also known as ARP; ARPA; Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds; CSLFRF; and other names). These funds provide a substantial infusion of resources to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery. Funds must be obligated by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026. Story County government will receive 50% of the funds in 2021 and the other half in 2022. This timeline is set by the Federal government.
Throughout the pandemic, counties have served on the front lines in our communities. We have leveraged essential federal investments to help curtail the virus. We have taken many steps to serve our most vulnerable residents, including our seniors, children, unemployed, sick, and front-line workers.
This one-time federal government aid represents an historic investment in counties on the front lines of our nation’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. The direct, flexible funding will improve the quality of life for the people living, learning, and working in Story County, provide for immediate recovery needs, and create a long-term investment in Story County’s future.
Guidance for the Use of the ARPA Funds
The United States Treasury established guidelines for State and local governments to use the ARPA funds to cover costs associated with certain purposes, including:
- Responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including providing assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality;
- Responding to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers;
- Strengthening support for vital public services by replacing lost public sector revenue; and
- Making necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.
While funding can be used for items listed above, as stewards of the Story County funding, the Board of Supervisors identified the highest and best strategic uses of the funding to serve the citizens of the County including the following three areas.
Supporting the public health response – meet and address emergent public health needs, including through measures to counter the spread of COVID-19, through the provision of care for those impacted by the virus, and through programs or services that address disparities in public health that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
Addressing negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency – respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality.
Investing in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure – allows for a broad range of necessary investments in projects that improve access to clean drinking water, improve wastewater and stormwater infrastructure systems, and to make necessary investments in broadband infrastructure.
State and local governments must take action to obligate the funds by December 31, 2024, and all funds must be spent no later than December 31, 2026.
Applying for ARPA Funding from Story County
The Story County Board of Supervisors is inviting communities, organizations, and external partners to submit proposals for funding consideration. Together, we must pursue the great American tradition of building back better after major crises. Let us use this opportunity born out of a challenging time to strengthen our local partnerships and make smart investments in a brighter, more resilient future for our communities.
Proposals that will be considered for ARPA funds must address a public need that has been created or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the usage and timing requirements of the ARPA legislation. Projects should be designed with a strategic public purpose that creates meaningful and long-lasting impact and must be focused on Story County and be administered or located in Story County.
APPLICATION PERIOD IS CLOSED