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Anne Arundel County State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Guidance

President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law on March 11, 2021. Anne Arundel County will receive a total of $112,509,414 in direct appropriations from the US Treasury. The county received $56,254,707 on May 19, 2021 and will receive the balance in May, 2022. All funds must be spent by December 31, 2024.
 
This funding represents an opportunity for Anne Arundel County to emerge from the COVID pandemic and tackle critical issues facing county residents and businesses. The County will solicit proposals for funding from county departments and agencies as well as from external organizations and stakeholders.

 

Strategy

The Administration strives to use these fiscal recovery funds strategically for a strong and equitable recovery, with an emphasis on the following two principles.
  • CREATE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL - Confront the causes of poverty, including wages, housing, transportation, childcare, education, and institutional racism.
  • PROMOTE HEALTH AND WELLNESS - Prioritize government investment in programs and infrastructure that enhance public health and thereby improve quality of life.
Fiscal Recovery Funds should be utilized similar to “one-time” funding and should not be used for ongoing operational costs. In addition, the US Treasury has indicated the following categories of eligible funding, according to their Interim Final Rule:
  • Support public health response: Fund COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral health care and certain county public health, public safety, human services and other related staff
  • Address negative economic impacts: Respond to economic harms to workers, families, small businesses, impacted industries and rehiring of public sector workers
  • Replace public sector revenue loss: Use funds to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced during the pandemic (We are awaiting further clarity from US Treasury on this category)
  • Water, sewer and broadband infrastructure: Make necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, invest in water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and provide unserved or underserved locations with new or expanded broadband access

Timeline

The FY22 County Budget, which was passed on June 14, recognizes the Fiscal Recovery Funds and provides appropriation authority beginning on July 1. The US Treasury has publicized its Interim Final Rules and is expected to issue final guidance sometime after July 16. The County also conducted a survey to solicit community input on recovery fund spending priorities.
 
The County is now accepting project abstracts from community stakeholders through an online portal. Project abstracts will be vetted for eligibility and non-duplication by the Budget Office, and evaluated by the Fiscal Recovery Fund Workgroup. 
 
Because these funds are available until December 31, 2024, the County intends to hold a portion aside to hedge against future economic declines or unanticipated needs. This portion will decline over time as the 2024 deadline approaches.
 
 

Community Engagement

Community engagement is the foundation of the ARP funding strategy.  The County's initial community input survey is now closed. The feedback obtained from this survey will be used to further define the needs and will be shared in public forums in the coming months. 

Thank you to all who participated in the first of series public outreach strategies regarding the use of ARP funds.

While we are still in the process of evaluating the results and comments, it’s clear from initial findings that the residents of this county are:

  • passionate about outdoor spaces that, in many cases, we rediscovered over the past year; 
  • committed to investing in our public safety programs; 
  • want improved roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure;
  • and want to continue to  lift up our neighbors and community businesses that have been impacted on so many levels, highlighting the need to fund an even wider safety net of behavioral health resources, economic and workforce support and human services resources.

This next phase also reinforces that concepts must be focused on a strong and equitable recovery, align with the U.S. Treasury funding requirements and begin to set out expectations  that there are rigorous reporting and fiscal requirements.

In this next phase of public engagement, the County is asking for more detailed information from interested residents, non-profit, business, faith and community leadership in the form of a project abstract.  Access the Project Abstract Portal to submit your ideas: 

Project Abstract Portal

This phase of community engagement will remain open until September 30, 2021.

Please note that Anne Arundel County Public Schools will receive a separate allocation, which is not included in the survey or Anne Arundel County government survey.


References

National Association of Counties Clearinghouse for State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds
https://www.naco.org/resources/featured/state-and-local-coronavirus-fiscal-recovery-funds

US Treasury FAQ
https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/SLFRPFAQ.pdf

Contact County Executive Pittman
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