American Rescue Plan
In March 2021, President Biden signed a coronavirus relief package into law, which included the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds of the American Rescue Plan. This funding provides formula grants to every state and local government within the country based upon its population size. The City of Brownwood is expected to receive a funding total of $4,572,890. The City is required to obligate all the funds by December 31, 2024 and expend all the funds by December 31, 2026. The City is subject to reporting requirements directly to the Treasury. The initial yearly report is due April 30, 2022.
Uses of Funds:
The United States Treasury outlined four expenditure areas for the funds: (1) local pandemic assistance; (2) essential worker premium pay; (3) provision of government services; (4) water, sewer, and broadband construction.
Recovery Funds are intended to provide support to State and local governments in responding to the impact of COVID-19 in their communities. The Fiscal Recovery Funds build on and expand the support provided to these governments over the last year, including through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF).
The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide substantial flexibility for each jurisdiction to meet local needs within these four separate eligible use categories.
- Replace lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services up to the amount of revenue lost due to the pandemic
- Respond to the far-reaching public health and negative economic impacts of the pandemic, by supporting the health of communities, and helping households, small businesses, impacted industries, nonprofits, and the public sector recover from economic impacts
- Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical sectors
- Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, to support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and to expand affordable access to broadband internet
A few core improvements included in the Final Rule are:
- Broader set of uses that are available to respond to the pandemic’s public health and economic impacts on households, small businesses, and others, including capital expenditures
- Major simplification for thousands of recipients through the $10 million revenue loss standard allowance
- Greater flexibility in eligible broadband investments to address challenges with access, affordability, and reliability, as well as the addition of numerous eligible water and sewer infrastructure investments
- More streamlined options to provide premium pay through broadening the share of eligible workers who can receive premium pay without additional justification
FINAL RULE | https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-01-27/pdf/2022-00292.pdf
OVERVIEW | https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/SLFRF-Final-Rule-Overview.pdf
Local Recovery Plan:
On February 28, 2022, Brownwood City Council met in a workshop with staff and Public Management consultants to discuss eligible expenditures, budgetary concerns, and primary needs for the utilization of ARPA funds. Council and staff identified five categories (Infrastructure Improvements, Utilities, Public Health & Safety, General Government Services, Grant Match) to represent the City’s allocation. Following the Council workshop, staff and consultants completed the Local Recovery Plan which includes the prioritization of eligible expenditures the City has considered.