- The City cannot use the funds to make deposits into its pension funds, cannot cut taxes with the funds, cannot replenish financial reserves, cannot repay debts, and cannot pay settlement agreements.
What are the guidelines for using these funds?
On May 10, 2021, sixty days after President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law, the United States Department of Treasury issued its “Interim Final Rule,” which details regulatory guidelines. Generally, municipalities must assess whether and how the use would respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and identify the connection between the negative impact and how the assistance responds to that impact.
Eligible uses include:
1. First, supporting public health expenditures including COVID-19 mitigation and containment, medical expenses, and behavioral and mental health services. This includes capital investments to public facilities to meet operational requirements.
2. Second, addressing negative economic impacts related to COVID-19 including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted businesses relating to tourism, travel, and hospitality.
3. Third, replacement of lost revenues to the City government to the extent there was a reduction in revenue due to the COVID–19 public health emergency, and relative to the revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency.
4. Fourth, providing premium pay to eligible workers of the government performing essential work during the COVID–19 public health emergency. Some examples include those involved in emergency response, public health work, educational work, government services, sanitation, maintenance, and others. Premium pay will also prioritize low to moderate level income workers.
5. And fifth, to make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.
Can organizations take advantage of these funds?
The City can transfer funds to private, non-profit organizations for those entities to use funds for the same four purposes described. Those organizations must operate under the same strict guidelines that will be issued to government entities as well.
What can't the funds be used for?
It is important to stress that these funds are NOT designed to be used for general infrastructure improvements or expansion of programming. Further, there are several items that the Act makes clear are NOT applicable uses of these funds:
Are there penalties for mismanaging these funds?
The U.S. Treasury will require a detailed accounting of the uses of all funds. Governments that fail to use the funds properly will be subject to repayment to U.S. Treasury.
How long does the city have to use the funds?
The funds received must be appropriated by the City no later than December 31, 2024.
What is the Mayor's ARP Advisory Committee?
This Committee is comprised of city officials, policy experts, and community leaders who can provide insight and recommendations on how these federal dollars should be allocated to key services, frontline workers, and small businesses throughout the city. Their names and biographies are available on this page.
The Committee will serve in an advisory capacity only. Ultimately, the Gusciora Administration and members of the City Council will determine how much funding will be spent on any given initiative.