You now know the high level requirements, funding goals and keys to help decision makers finance your project / programs with ARPA funds.
Now that the first installments of ARPA have been deposited into city and county treasury bank accounts, community leaders are pitching their best projects eligible for funding, with some throwing out any underfunded ideas, hoping they will stick around. with decision-makers. This month’s articles focus on helping provide context and a framework to help secure funding for your successful project in partnership with your local government. This article will provide an overview of the high-level ARPA funding requirements of the US Treasury and an in-depth analysis of funding goals, and finally key decision factors for local government decision-makers looking to fund community partnerships. .
The money is there now, and more is coming with most local governments having received half of their funds in June 2021 and the second half expected in May 2022 and the time to distribute those funds is turning. Spending of local government funds must be justified in accordance with US Treasury guidelines and incurred by December 31, 2024. The project work schedule must be completed and completed with funds fully spent by December 31, 2026. If the dollars of ARPA expenses are not spent or inappropriately spent by the deadline, these funds must be returned to the US Treasury. When it comes to how ARPA funds are to be spent, there are two general objectives, on the one hand to save and on the other to build back better. When it comes to the appropriate ways to use the funding, there are five main ways. 1- Replacement of lost revenues to local communities. 2- Fund public health responses. 3- Address the negative economic impacts for businesses and workers in affected industries. 4- Provide premium funding for essential workers retroactively to January 27, 2020. 5- Invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. There are also NO-NOs with ARPA funding and these include; reduce unfunded pension liabilities, fund general infrastructure and economic development projects unrelated to COVID-19, to be used as a non-federal matching amount for federal grant applications, to make payments for the service of the debt, paying legal settlements or deposits in Rainy Day funds. Now that the high level requirements are outlined, we will further explore the Funding Goals as they apply to certain programs / projects that you may be seeking funding for.
When it comes to programs / projects that support public health interventions, it is necessary to fulfill one or more of the funding objectives listed below:
- Activities that prevent and mitigate COVID-19
- Provide COVID-19 treatment and medical services
- Improve mental and behavioral health services that have been negatively affected by the pandemic
- Support the local workforce providing health and safety services
- Improve public health programs
- Reduce disparities in public health outcomes
If your project / program deals with negative economic impacts, then it must meet one or more of the funding objectives, with a preference to serve the groups most affected disproportionately:
- Provide assistance to households
- Support associations and small businesses
- Help industries affected by the pandemic
- Rehiring of redundant local staff
- Provide training for the unemployed
- Improve the performance of economic assistance programs
- Proof of services for residents living in Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs) and other disproportionately affected communities
Third party employers seeking a premium for essential workers must have employees performing contract work for local governments in the following roles:
- Social and human service personnel.
- Daycare educators.
- Health and public safety personnel.
- Truck drivers, transit and warehouse personnel.
- Janitors and sanitation staff.
- Food production staff, grocery store and restaurant.
- Nursing home, hospital and home care staff.
Water, sewer and broadband infrastructure projects related to COVID-19 must meet one or more of the following funding objectives:
- Provide or improve drinking water.
- Create green infrastructure.
- Throwing out pollution water.
- Improve the resilience of infrastructure.
- Build, improve or repair wastewater treatment plants.
- Control flooding or manage stormwater runoff.
- Provide Internet to unserved and underserved households.
Each Coconino County leader, elected and employed, is responsible for managing ARPA funding and spending it publicly or investing it in programs and projects that meet the eligibility criteria. Leaders must also face public scrutiny as expenditures and investments (both amounts and targets) are published, these decisions and their impacts will be very transparent, thus reinforcing the importance of your program / project justifications. . Demonstrating the need is often generalized, but when it comes to activities funded by ARPA, the general and most important need is not enough. It is clear from US Treasury guidelines that specifically targeting a disproportionately affected demographic will be preferable in identifying a general population need. Use eligible census tracts and other economic data sets to focus on the populations most affected and be prepared to report your results. Quarterly reports on the results of your project / program should be expected, as local governments should report on the results and expenditures of any ARPA sub-grantee who received more than $ 50,000. These ARPA funds, while formidable and unprecedented, are not without conditions. In order to ensure that your ARPA funding project / program request is carefully considered by senior management, make sure your goals are clear, your rationale detailed, and your results specific and regularly reported. You now know the high level requirements, funding goals and keys to help decision makers finance your project / programs with ARPA funds. If you would like to discuss your project in more detail or would like help with justifications, please contact me. NBF
By Chris Pasterz
Chris Pasterz is the Director of Economic Development for Coconino County. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 928-679-7134.