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  • Writer's pictureJocelyn Thompson

August 12th, 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.

Minnesota landed 7 of the 166 RAISE infrastructure grants! Details below. News from MSP Cities and Counties

  • Le Sueur County: After two years of being walled off from state broadband dollars, Le Sueur County is reviving efforts to bring high speed internet to nearly 250 rural households. Le Sueur County is expanding rural broadband coverage by partnering with Bevcomm on a Border-to-Border grant.

  • Washington County: Washington County created a Pandemic Response Brochure that outlines the county's response efforts. The county developed its current plan for use of the American Rescue Plan funds on pg. 4 of the brochure.

  • Wright County: Wright County will be adding fiber opportunities to 1,645 total households across the county. Wright County was awarded grant funds from the State of Minnesota as part of a Federal Coronavirus Relief Package titled the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

Minnesota News

  • Duluth Bridge: To rebuild an aging bridge between Minnesota and Wisconsin, the transportation departments in the two states will seek about $889 million dollars in federal funding available under the infrastructure law approved last year.

  • Swift County: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1 million grant to Swift County, Minnesota, to support the recovery of the local tourism and outdoor recreation sector by making improvements at the Appleton Area Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Park. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.


National News

  • ARPA Housing: The U.S. Treasury Department has released guidance giving state and local governments more flexibility to use American Rescue Plan Act funds to expand affordable housing. The updated guidance will make it easier for state and local leaders to use the funds to finance long-term affordable housing loans.

  • HHS: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded nearly $90 million in American Rescue Plan funding to nearly 1,400 community health centers across the country to advance health equity through better data collection and reporting.

  • Inflation Reduction Act: The Inflation Reduction Act bill, which includes around $370 billion for climate and energy programs, is expected to get a vote in the Democratic-controlled House on Friday. If approved there, it would go to President Biden for his signature.

  • RAISE Grants:

    • U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded more than $2.2 billion from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program to help urban and rural communities move forward on projects that modernize roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, and intermodal transportation and make our transportation systems safer, more accessible, more affordable, and more sustainable. More coverage here.

    • A fact sheet detailing the awards is here. The following awards are in Minnesota:

      • Big Wood Transit Facility – Bois Forte Band of Chippewa (p. 69)

      • 6th Street Bridge – City of Rochester (p. 70)

      • Hwy 197 Safety and Mobility – MnDOT (p. 71)

      • Lake Street Improvements for BRT – Hennepin County (p. 72)

      • Station 73 Transit – City of Plymouth (p. 73)

      • West Superior Street – City of Duluth (p. 74)

      • North Dakota/Minnesota Bridge – City of Fargo (p. 116)

  • Neighborhood Access and Equity Grants: The grants would supplement earlier funding in the infrastructure law and could go towards a range of projects. About a third of the money is earmarked for lower-income areas.

  • Semiconductor Bill: President Biden on Tuesday signed into law a $54.2 billion measure to boost semiconductor production in the U.S. Most notably, the bipartisan bill passed by Congress last month includes $39.4 billion in subsidies to encourage companies to manufacture chips, bolstering hopes in cities around the country that it will create more jobs in their communities

  • Drones: A bipartisan group of senators introduced the Drone Infrastructure Inspection Grant Act to increase the use of American-made drones to help inspect and maintain infrastructure projects across the country. The bill would authorize $100 million in competitive grants to use American-made drones to perform critical infrastructure, maintenance, or construction projects.

  • Train Stations: The federal infrastructure law that Congress passed last year included $66 billion in various programs to fund new passenger rail service or upgrade existing facilities. New York City is looking at a major rail station makeover. But around the country, other noteworthy projects were completed in recent years or are now in the works.

  • IIJA Answers: At Brookings annual Municipal Finance Conference in July 2022, four experts addressed several questions about the IIJA: Ryan Berni, senior advisor to Mitch Landrieu, the infrastructure implementation coordinator in the White House; D.J. Gribbin, former special assistant to President Trump for infrastructure; Shoshana Lew, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation; and Eden Perry, head of the U.S. Public Finance Operation and S&P Global Ratings.

  • Department of Energy: The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today issued a Request for Information (RFI) on the development and implementation of a $675 million Critical Materials Research, Development, Demonstration, and Commercialization Program. Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the program will address vulnerabilities in the domestic critical materials supply chain, which are both an economic disadvantage and an impediment to the clean energy transition.

Upcoming Webinars

  • Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University: The Local Infrastructure Hub will host a webinar on opportunities for cities and towns looking to access federal dollars to close the digital divide, support broadband infrastructure expansion, and advance digital equity. It will be held at 1 p.m. CT, on Tuesday, August 16th. Register here.

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT): Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program (RCP) – Capital Construction Grant webinar. The webinar is on Monday, August 22nd at 1:00 pm. Register here.

  • HUD: HUD's Office of Affordable Housing Programs (OAHP) is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, August 17th, 2022 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM CT which will cover instructions and requirements for setting up and reporting accomplishments for HOME Investment Partnerships American Rescue Plan Program (HOME-ARP) Supportive Services activities in HUD's Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS). Register here.

  • Navigate Federal Funding Opportunities for Your Infrastructure Projects: Free webinar hosted by Government Technology and Cartegraph. Industry experts will provide actionable advice to help you make the most of the IIJA, including how to secure competitive funds for infrastructure projects. Webinar is Tuesday, August 23rd at 1 PM. Register here.

Resources

  • NaCo: Counties across the nation are utilizing Recovery Funds through the American Rescue Plan Act to strengthen water and sewer infrastructure by expanding the impact of these investments. Outlined are how counties are using the Clean Water, Sewer & Stormwater infrastructure through strategic investments.

  • Podcast: On the latest episode of Dollar & Sense, Adie Tomer sits down with David Dollar to unpack three significant pieces of legislation either passed by or pending in Congress—the 2021 infrastructure measure, the CHIPS Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act—and their impact on infrastructure, innovation, and U.S. competitiveness on the global stage.

Upcoming Funding Deadlines

Have a great weekend, all!

Allison

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