American Rescue Plan Act
The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law March 11, 2021 and provides $1.9 trillion in economic stimulus for the country. Over the next two years, Medina County specifically will be receiving just under $35 million in funds which the commissioners will have the ability to allocate and invest in the county. The County received half of the funds this year and is expected to receive the remaining half of the funds near to the end of May 2022.
The five major categories identified for the funds’ allowable use are:
- Support Public Health Response
Examples: PPE purchases, capital investments to mitigate COVID-19 in public facilities, ventilation improvements in congregate and healthcare settings, COVID-19 treatment and medical services, enhanced behavioral and mental health services, payroll support for local health/safety workforce, improve public health programs, and to address disparities in public health outcomes.
- Address Negative Economic Impacts
Examples: Assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits, aid to impacted industries, job training to unemployed or underemployed workers, services to address individuals experiencing homelessness, support for tourism/travel/hospitality sectors, services for qualified census tract and other disproportionately impacted areas of our community.
- Replace Public Sector Revenue Loss
Permitted use of funds to support government services up to the amount of lost revenue experienced during the pandemic. This is calculated from total revenues from taxes, charges and miscellaneous general revenue which has a formula comparing pre-pandemic 2019 revenues and 4.1% annual growth is applied to it, or, what you can demonstrate in your three fiscal years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Premium Pay for Essential Workers
Additional compensation to both county employees and other essential workers in the community facing the greatest health risk due to their service. They are advising that this prioritize low and moderate income persons and the definition of essential work involves regular in-person interactions, or regular physical handling of items also handled by others.
- Water, Sewer and Broadband Infrastructure
Examples: Drinking water infrastructure projects such as building or upgrading facilities, transmission, distribution and storage systems. On the wastewater side it includes construction, improvement or repairs to treatment plants. It includes controlling non-point source pollution, flooding control, creation of green infrastructure. It also includes the provision to unserved or underserved locations new or expanded broadband access.
The following timelines are also in place:
- Funds cover costs from March 3, 2021 through December 24, 2024
- Funds must be incurred and obligated by December 31, 2024
- Funds must be expended to cover obligations and all work performed and completed by December 31, 2026
- Consideration is given retroactively only to application of premium pay to January 27, 2020