What Is Arpa?

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) was signed into law on March 11, 2021, by President Joe Biden. It provided $350 billion to eligible state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to aid equitable public health and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will be distributed through the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CLFRF).

What’s Eligible for Funding?

 

The U.S. Department of Treasury has outlined several eligible and ineligible uses for ARPA dollars.

Eligible Uses of Funds

Recipients may use the funds in the following four categories:

  • To respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts;
  • To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing premium pay to eligible workers of the recipient, or by providing grants to eligible employers who have eligible workers who performed essential work;
  • For the provision of government services to the extent of a reduction in revenue by the recipient due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and to make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.

Ineligible Uses of Funds

Recipients may not spend funds in the following categories:
  • To offset a reduction directly or indirectly in net tax revenue due to a change in law from March 3, 2021, through the last day of the fiscal year in which the funds provided have been spent;
  • To make a deposit to a pension fund;
  • To fund debt service costs, legal settlements, or judgements; and
  • To make deposits into a rainy-day fund or financial reserves.
Expenditures must be obligated by December 31, 2024, and spent by December 31, 2026.

decision-making Process

 

Community organizations and County departments submitted funding proposals for programs or projects. We received 319 community proposals and 14 internal County department proposals which were added to the list. The cost of all projects totaled more than $2 billion which far exceeds the $127.6 million allocation that Kent County received from the federal government.

Our external consultant (Guidehouse) alongside our internal review committee reviewed each proposal to ensure it met federal eligibility requirements, could be completed within the required timeframe, and was sustainable beyond the ARPA funding support. Our internal review team was comprised of the following individuals:

Nirali Bora, Medical Director, Kent County Health Department

Teresa Branson, Chief Inclusion Officer, Kent County Administration

Chad Coffman, Program Manager, Kent County Community Action

Dan DeLooff, Parks Superintendent, Kent County Parks Department

Jeff Dood, Fiscal Services Director, Kent County Fiscal Services

Sandra Ghoston-Jones, Management Analyst, Kent County Administration

Alex Andrews, Director of Business Intelligence and Workforce Innovation, TalentFirst

 Timeline

 

  • May 20 – Engagement process is launched, including a website and an online survey and proposal form (completed)
  • June 2 – Community Forum at Kent County Health Department (completed)
  • June 6 – Community Forum at Rockford High School (completed)
  • June 21 – Community Forum at Walker City Hall (completed)
  • June 28 – Community Forum at LINC Up (completed)
  • June 29 – Community Forum at Kelloggsville High School (completed)
  • May – June: Held 33 meetings with organizations representing disproportionately impacted communities (completed)
  • July 1 – Priorities & Ideas Survey closed (completed)
  • July 15 – ARPA Funds Proposal Form closed (completed)
  • September 15 – First round of proposers of ineligible proposals were notified that ARPA dollars will not be awarded. (completed)
  • October 14 – Board of Commissioners ARPA Work Session. Commissioners participated in a prioritization exercise to help County staff develop a series of optional ARPA funding packages with specific proposals and funding amounts. (completed) View resultsWatch here.
  • November 14 – Board of Commissioners Evening ARPA Work Session. The Kent County Administrator outlined a recommended ARPA spending package with specific proposals and funding amounts for the Commissioners consideration. No voting was conducted. (completed) View the recommended spending package here
  • December 1 – Board of Commissioners voted on an ARPA spending package. Click here to the view the news release which includes the spending plan, resolutions and allocations. (completed)

View Board of Commissioners Minutes, Agendas & Videos. 

Background – Five Priority Funding Groups

The Board of Commissioners developed five key areas for this investment:

1. Community Health

Investing in new and existing mental and physical health programs for the community such as mental health crisis support and removing lead from homes.

2. Quality of Life

Long-term quality of life improvements for our community such as parks and riverfront enhancements, and family and visitor entertainment attractions.

3. Infrastructure

Investments in the infrastructure of Kent County and its future such as broadband internet, stormwater flooding mitigation (drains), and county-wide mobility.

4. Economic Innovations and Workforce Development

Investments in the future of Kent County’s economy to provide a thriving, innovative and sustainable business climate and skilled workforce that addresses industry demands in the long-term, such as workforce training and food licensing fee waivers.

5. Improving Government Operations

Investing in Kent County government operations, such as facility improvement and new technology, to address the growing needs of the community and to improve customer service.

Questions or Comments?