American Rescue Plan Act Funding Guidelines for Municipalities

July 26, 2021

American Rescue Plan Act

Under the United States American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021, Franklin County is issued $5,870,000 in recovery funds to replace lost revenues and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The payment is split into two tranches, with the first payment arriving in May 2021 and the second payment of an equal amount scheduled to arrive no sooner than May 2022.

ARPA funds must be obligated no later than December 31, 2024. Funds must be spent no later than December 31, 2026.

Further guidance on the use of ARPA funds is in the links below; but broadly, these funds can be spent in the following categories:

  • Supporting the public health response
  • Addressing negative economic impacts 
  • Replacing public sector revenue loss 
  • Premium pay for essential workers 
  • Water, sewer, broadband infrastructure

Funds can generally not be used for:

  • Reducing taxes
  • Depositing extraordinary funds into a pension account
  • Certain non-federal matches
  • Debt Service
  • Legal Settlements
  • Rainy Day Funds
  • Infrastructure outside of water/sewer/broadband, or revenue loss to infrastructure projects
  • General economic development or workforce development unless related to the pandemic

Guidance Documents

The following are resources offering guidance for how counties can spend ARPA funds.

County Process

The following is Franklin County's process for determining use of ARPA funds:

  1. Identify County needs - May/July 2021
    • Franklin County staff will perform an audit of losses to Franklin County 
    • County staff will identify further response measures necessary to the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Identify short term qualified regional needs and issues - Summer/Fall 2021
    • Open public comment through County web site
    • Meetings with municipal leadership, state legislators
    • Meetings with industry experts and service providers
    • Meetings with Maine State department leadership
    • Public meeting(s) for comment to County Commissioners
  3. Identify medium-long term regional needs and issues - Ongoing
    • Continue to seek input from stakeholders on further investment
    • Continue to seek public comment through web portal
    • Continue to update and seek input from County Commissioners in public meetings

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