Author: Alvin Abraham

American Rescue Plan Act

Overview

With the goal of responding to the public health emergency posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative economic impacts, the American Rescue Plan Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Biden in March of 2021. The funding package is aimed at supporting eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments as they pursue a strong and equitable economic recovery. Of the $350 billion in emergency funding designated through the American Rescue Plan’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, Mount Vernon has been allocated $41,108,657.

Eligible Uses of American Rescue Plan (ARP) Funds

In allocating ARP funds to state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments, Congress aimed to provide resources responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts through four categories of eligible uses that:

  1. Support public health expenditures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Address the negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic via assistance to households, small businesses, nonprofits and impacted industries.
  3. Support workers providing essential services during the pandemic through premium pay, also known as hazard pay.
  4. Provide government services negatively affected by reduced revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  5. Invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

To carry out ARP’s provisions, the U.S. Department of the Treasury published the Interim Final Rule, which provides more detailed guidance on the categories of eligible uses, restrictions on use of the funds and reporting requirements. Click here to view the Interim Final Rule. The Interim Final Rule contains non-exhaustive lists of eligible uses for the ARP funds and attempts to provide ARP funds recipients with flexibility to deploy the funds where they are most urgently needed. The Interim Final Rule also makes use of standardized economic measures to reduce the administrative burden on recipients of ARP funds.

A stated priority for use of the funds across all the eligible categories is that ARP recipients assist households, businesses and nonprofits disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. This is in recognition of the fact that the most severe health and economic impacts of the pandemic have been felt by low-income communities, people of color, and Tribal communities. The funds are paid to Mount Vernon in two payments: the first payment in the amount of $20,554,328.50 has been received by the city in May of 2021, and a second payment is expected to be received one year later.

Deadlines

The Interim Final Rule outlines deadlines for each recipient of the ARP funds. There are four key deadlines the city must meet in order to fulfill the funding guidelines of the American Rescue Plan Act. They are as follows:

  • August 31, 2021: Submission of the Interim Report
  • October 31, 2021: Submission of the initial Project and Expenditure Report
  • December 31, 2024: Deadline for the Obligation of Funds
  • December 31, 2026: Deadline for the Expending of Funds

Reporting Requirements

The federal guidelines detail the requirements needed by each recipient in order for them to be in compliance. Failure to submit the necessary reports and meet the above stated deadlines puts the city at risk for having to return the funds. The requirements are as follows:

  1. Interim Report
  • This one-time report must be submitted by August 31, 2021 to the U.S. Department of Treasury and should include the details of the recipient’s expenditures by category from the date of the award to July 31, 2021. For more information, please reference the Interim Final Report here.
  1. Project and Expenditure Report
  • According to the Interim Final Rule, this report must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Treasury on a quarterly basis beginning on October 31, 2021. Thereafter, a report should be submitted every three months through the end of the award period on December 31, 2026. It should include financial data, information on contracts and subawards over $50,000, types of projects funded, and other information regarding a recipient’s utilization of the award funds. The periods covered and submission dates for each quarterly report are indicated in the table below and more information can be found here.

Resources

For Frequently Asked Questions Click Here