In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno created the Department of Recovery and Business Continuity (“DRBC”), with the objective of effectively, efficiently, and equitably administering American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA” or the “Act”) funds within the City of Springfield for all eligible use categories, as determined by the United States Department of the Treasury through its Interim Final Rule. DRBC is responsible for utilizing public input gathered from the City’s residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to implement an open and transparent process for ARPA funding to be distributed, so that the maximum benefit is derived for the people of Springfield, in furtherance of the goals and objectives of the Act.
On March 11, 2021, ARPA was signed into law. Section 9901 of ARPA amended Title VI of the Social Security Act to add section 602, which establishes the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund, and section 603, which establishes the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (together, the “Fiscal Recovery Funds”). The Fiscal Recovery Funds are intended to provide support to State, local, and Tribal governments in responding to the impact of COVID-19 and in their efforts to contain COVID-19 on their communities, residents, and businesses. The Fiscal Recovery Funds build on and expand the support provided to these governments over the last year, including through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (“CRF”). Through the Fiscal Recovery Funds, Congress provided State, local, and Tribal governments with significant resources to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its economic impacts through four categories of eligible uses:
- To respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality; and
- To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers; and
- For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID–19 public health emergency relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency; and
- To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure
In addition, Congress has clarified two types of uses which do not fall within these four categories. Eligible uses under ARPA do not include (and thus funds may not be used for):
- Depositing funds into any pension fund; or
- Directly or indirectly offsetting a reduction in the net tax revenue of the State or territory resulting from a change in law, regulation, or administrative interpretation.
Information provided by the City's Businesses, Nonprofits, and Residents though the on-line ARPA Surveys is essential to ensuring that the needs of the community are property prioritized, and that the spending of ARPA funds will have the most beneficial and far reaching impact possible. Please be advised that the period of time for survey submissions has now expired. The data is currently under review, and a full report detailing the results of the three survey groups will be made available in this section in the near future. Thank you to everyone who participated in the process.
The City will be issuing Requests for Proposals (“RFP”) for interested parties seeking ARPA funds. At this time, it is anticipated that RFPs will be available in the following categories: Nonprofits, Small Businesses, Housing Development/Redevelopment, Senior Assistance, Neighborhood/Household Assistance, Capital Projects, Job Creation/Economic Development. More information on the issuance of the RFPs related to ARPA funds will be provided in the near future, as the public outreach phase concludes.