American Rescue Plan Act
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was established – a $350 billion Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CSLFRF) for state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments. ARPA will provide a substantial infusion of resources across the nation, to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery. Chester County has been allocated nearly $102 million in ARPA funds.
The ARPA will help cover costs incurred by local governments during their response to the public health emergency, and it will also provide support for a recovery – focusing on assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits, aid to impacted industries, and support for essential workers. It will also provide resources for state, local, and Tribal governments to invest in infrastructure, including water, sewer, and broadband services.
Chester County is finalizing the structure for prioritizing, requesting and reviewing proposals that would most effectively spend-down our ARPA funding allocation. A key part of the process – and one that ensures full transparency in spending the money – is the inclusion of members of the public as part of the County’s ARPA evaluation teams.
ARPA evaluation teams?
Evaluation teams will be established to address each priority area for ARPA funding. Each team will be facilitated by representatives from Chester County Government’s finance department, solicitor’s office and strategic planning team, and will include three county employee volunteers and four volunteers from the community. Teams will focus on the following key priorities:
- Public health response – COVID-19 related costs, mental health, substance use and other public health services;
- Industry/community negative economic impact – Assistance for food/rent/mortgage/utility programs, eviction prevention, aid to nonprofits and tourism/travel/hospitality industries; job assistance training;
- Disproportionately impacted communities - Education assistance pre-K onwards, child care and home visiting, fostering services, affordable housing and shelters;
- Premium pay for essential workers;
- Infrastructure – water and sewer treatment, broadband services;
- Public sector revenue loss.
The County has been working with Susquehanna Accounting and Consulting Solutions, Inc. to negotiate and apply for the Federal funding, ensure ARPA compliance and maximize efficiencies and eligible expenditures.
For questions or more information about ARPA, send an email to [email protected].