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  • Writer's pictureJocelyn Thompson

April 15th, 2022

Welcome to the Friday Update from the Federal Funding Hub! This message shares news and resources so that our region can make the most of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and other federal funding. News from MSP Cities

  • Edina

    • The City is collecting ideas for spending the remaining ARPA funds. Watch the Prezi for more information.

    • The Edina Chamber of Commerce shifted its business accelerator into the Edina Innovation Hub, using the $100,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding from the City to launch it later this year.

  • St. Paul:

    • In Governing, Mayor Melvin Carter discusses the impact of the pandemic, and the future of the city, including how they are using the $166 million dollars of American Rescue Plan Act funding.

    • In response to a homelessness crisis, city and county officials used federal American Rescue Plan funding to relocate everyone they could into rented hotel rooms or new or existing shelters set up seemingly overnight. However, as federal relief funding runs out, many of the temporary shelters set up in the early days of the pandemic are now closing.

News from MSP Counties

  • Dakota County:

    • Dakota County schools receive $4.4M for library funding and internet access. Schools in the 2nd Congressional District received $4.478 million in the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. The ECF program, which was created as part of the American Rescue Plan, helps schools and libraries ensure that students can connect to the internet at home, allowing them to take advantage of online learning and complete their homework.

    • The Dakota County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on April 19, 2022, at 9 a.m. in the Boardroom of the Dakota County Administration Center, 1590 West Highway 55, Hastings, for the purpose of receiving comments from the public on the Dakota County HOME-ARP Allocation Plan.

  • Hennepin County:

    • The Twin Cities region was grappling with surging homelessness before the pandemic, which exacerbated the issue. With state, local, nonprofit, and federal funding, Hennepin County has responded with significant investments to fund solutions. The County committed $91 million in American Rescue Plan funding to boost existing and create new programs run by nonprofit partners, and to increase affordable housing development.

    • Hennepin County Commissioner Chris LaTondresse had his first opportunity to address the Edina City Council in person on April 5 as he provided his annual update on the County Board’s work. The County Board has been allocating federal funds from the American Rescue Plan.

  • Ramsey County: Ramsey County and the city of Saint Paul, along with the cities of Detroit and Cleveland, are participating in the Brookings Metro Transforming Cities Lab (TCL). The Lab is structured as an initiative to promote experimentation and piloting of new ideas and practices through a series of meetings and educational sessions. The center of this peer learning project will be the strategic use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to maximize sustainable investment in inclusive and equitable growth.

Minnesota News

  • GREATER MSP:

    • Assistant Secretary Castillo was in St. Paul, Minnesota for an EDA Coalition Conversation with GREATER MSP, which leads a coalition that has developed a plan to increase U.S. global competitiveness in bio-innovation in the greater Minneapolis–St. Paul region. Read the Concept Proposal Narrative (applicant submitted)

    • GREATER MSP hosted Assistant Secretary Castillo to discuss the Greater MSP region’s efforts to promote bio-innovation and inclusive economic growth. Learn more about the visit.

  • Governor's Council on Economic Expansion: The Council met on April 11th to understand strategies to realize the vision that Minnesota is nationally recognized as a top state to start, grow and expand a business. Watch the recording from the meeting here.

  • ARPA Funds in Minnesota: Minnesota legislators are taking their Spring Break this week, giving everyone time to contemplate how far apart House DFLers and Senate Republicans are on the main issue of the 2022 session: how and how much of the surplus money — along with unspent cash from the federal American Rescue Plan — the state should spend.

  • Minnesota Housing: Minnesota Housing anticipates receiving approximately $31 million of HOME-ARP funding, of which up to 15% can be used for planning and administrative purposes.

National News

  • EDA: Read about the status of funds update for American Rescue Plan Programs.

  • Racial Equity: Government leaders must translate racial equity from an aspirational value to specific, tangible operating principles.

  • Rural Area Funding: The White House released new information this week, including an expectation of over $2 billion in funding announcements for rural areas.

  • Pandemic Recovery Fraud: Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery Brian Miller has been working to combat fraud in pandemic recovery money.

  • IIJA: The Biden administration has kicked off an effort to promote the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act's (IIJA) impact in rural areas.

  • Major-Tech Upgrades: Cities are upgrading online government services and access to remote meetings as a part of a larger move to invest ARPA funds in technology.

Upcoming Webinars

  • Reentry and Housing: This webinar on April 20, 2022, 11:00 pm – 12:15 p.m. CT will focus on Secretary Fudge’s guidance encouraging communities to prioritize people in reentry for the 70,000 ARP Emergency Housing Vouchers available nationwide.

  • U.S. Treasury Webinar on Reporting Guidelines for the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds: Join NACo on April 21st from 3:00 pm- 4:00 pm for a review of the Treasury Department’s webinar on reporting guidelines and compliance requirements for the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund program.

  • Leveraging ARPA Funds to Prevent Violent Crime: Join NACo for a webinar on April 27 at 1:00 pm that will feature a discussion with county leaders on how they have been using ARPA funds to reduce violence and strengthen communities.

Past Webinars

  • Follow the Money: Watch the recording from April 12th and hear from Commissioner Marion Greene from Hennepin County.

  • ARPA Reporting Requirements Watch the recording from April 14th for an overview of what you need to know when it comes to reporting for the American Rescue Plan Act’ (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.

Resources

  • Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Rural Playbook: The Biden administration this week launched a special push around rural investments under the bipartisan infrastructure law, releasing a new guidebook and other materials meant to help rural communities tap the funds, and dispatching officials to promote millions of dollars for rural projects spread out around the country.

  • State and Federal Funding Resources for Minnesota: The American Rescue Plan represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change our collective trajectory in responding to homelessness. Here are some ways that you can learn more about these opportunities and get engaged in state and local decisions about how these funds are deployed

  • U.S. Department of Treasury: How Treasury’s implementation of American Rescue Plan Programs prioritizes equity.

Please reach out with questions and ideas regarding federal funding in our region. Also, let me know if you have any news or resources, you’d like us to share. Allison


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