American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021 to provide direct relief to cities, towns and villages in the United States (Sec. 9901: Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds). The U.S. Department of the Treasury is responsible for overseeing this unprecedented program.

According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments with a substantial infusion of resources to meet pandemic response needs and rebuild a stronger, and more equitable economy as the country recovers. Recipients may use these funds to:

  • Support public health expenditures, by, for example, funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, and certain public health and safety staff
  • Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries, and the public sector
  • Replace lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic
  • 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 infrastructure sectors
  • Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and to expand access to broadband internet

 ARPA funding objectives

  • Support urgent COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control
  • Replace lost revenue for eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs
  • Support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses
  • Address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the inequal impact of the pandemic

 ARPA Funding must fit into one of the following four statutory categories:

  • To respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts;
  • To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to such eligible workers of the recipient, or by providing grants to eligible employers that have eligible workers who performed essential work;
  • For the provision of government services, to the extent of the reduction in revenue of such recipient due to the COVID–19 public health emergency, relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year of the recipient prior to the emergency;
  • To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.

These four uses are split into 7 summary expenditure categories:

  •     Public Health
  •     Negative Economic Impacts
  •     Services to Disproportionately Impacted Communities
  •     Premium Pay
  •     Infrastructure
  •     Revenue Replacement
  •     Administrative

 Local governments will receive the funds in two allocations. The first allocation was made in the Spring of 2021 and the second allocation will be made in May 2022.  Funding must be obligated by December 31st, 2024 and expended by December 31st, 2026.

Federal ARPA funds allocated to the Town of Auburn will total $5,011,472.00.  Of that amount, $1,754,873.00 is the municipal allocation and $3,256,599.00 is the Town’s allocation under the county allocation.  The Town has received approximately 50% of the funds, with the remaining allocation to arrive in May 2022.

Public Hearing

The Auburn Select Board will hold a public hearing on ARPA funds on Monday, November 29, 2021 at 6:30 PM in the Select Board’s Room on the 2nd floor of Town Hall, 104 Central Street, Auburn, MA 01501. View the flyer here (PDF).