President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in early March. The $1.9 trillion relief bill provides direct assistance to state and local governments along with billions of dollars for public health, vaccines, education, transportation, housing and more.
In the CSPDC region, the counties of Augusta, Bath, Highland, Rockbridge and Rockingham will receive a little over $36M based on population. The cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton and Waynesboro will receive around $30M based on a modified CDBG grant formula. Unlike CARES funding, towns will receive their own allocation. The 11 towns in the CSPDC region are expected to receive over $21M in ARPA funding. Final amounts will be determined by the U.S. Department of Treasury when they issue their guidance.
Allowable uses of funds include 4 broad categories: (1) responding to the COVID-19 public health crisis and its negative economic impacts to households, small businesses and nonprofits, and the tourism, travel, and hospitality industries; (2) providing premium pay to essential workers of local government and local employers; (3) providing assistance for government services due to revenue reductions; (4) making necessary investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.
The U. S. Treasury Department will provide guidance, oversee and administer these payments to local governments and funds must be used by December 31, 2024. For more information on the American Rescue Plan Act; click here.