What is the American Rescue Plan Act?
On March 11, 2021, the President of the United States signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), Pub. L. No. 117-2. This law provides resources through the new Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CLFRF) to local governments to respond to the public health emergency caused by the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). This fund is administered by the US Department of the Treasury (hereafter, “US Treasury” or “Treasury”). The U.S. Treasury Department announced that New Bedford will receive $64,729,754 in federal funding as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.
The U.S. Treasury also released the Interim Final Rule (IFR) for the program that sets forth eligible uses for funding, which includes responding to acute pandemic-response needs, filling revenue shortfalls, and supporting the communities and populations hardest-hit by COVID-19.
Eligible uses for local fiscal recovery funds, which provide substantial flexibility for cities to address and meet their community needs, include: replacing public sector revenue loss to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic; support public health responses including funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare and certain public health and safety staff; addressing negative economic impacts, including responding to economic harms to workers, families, small businesses, impacted industries and the private sector; providing premium pay for critical essential workers; water, sewer and broadband infrastructure that makes necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, invest in wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and expand broadband access.
NOTE: The City of New Bedford has solicited community opinions on the use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds through public meetings and an online survey. The survey went live July 23rd and has resulted in over 500 responses. The survey is now closed. The City is presently compiling the results, which will be shared with the public. Thank you for your interest.
KEY DATES RELATED TO THE RECOVERY FUND
Declaration of the public health crisis
Beginning of the Recovery Fund "covered period"
American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), Pub. L. No. 117-2
U.S. Treasury issues Interim Final Rule
Deadline to comment on U.S. Treasury's Interim Final Rule on Recovery Fund
Recovery Funds must be obligated
Recovery Funds must be spent, and all work/performance must be completed