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  • Writer's pictureJocelyn Thompson

July 1st, 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.

Check out which county got a cool new ARPA website!

News from MSP

  • Carver County: The Board of Commissioners approved a bid from Metronet in support of its CarverLink Fiber Network "Connect Up Carver" broadband internet initiative. With “Connect Up Carver’s” anticipated completion in 2024 and other Federal and State programs in the works, Carver County would become the first Minnesota county with nearly 100% fiber internet access to every residential and business address.

  • Hennepin County: Elected leaders from major urban counties with over 4.2 million residents this week outlined how they are deploying resources from the American Rescue Plan to respond to urgent community needs including Commissioner Angela Conley from Hennepin County. For a recording of the briefing, click here.

  • Saint Paul: St. Paul is planning to distribute a second wave of $500 monthly cash payments to low-income families over two years, Mayor Melvin Carter announced Wednesday. City Council will need to approve the funding of $4 million the city was allocated from the federal American Rescue Plan Act and $1 million from philanthropic donors. Press release here.

  • Scott County: A public information meeting will be held on July 14th to share the site concept map and additional information about the proposed project for the Cedar Lake Farm Group Camp Site Development. The Scott County Board of Commissioners has identified a project using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to implement planned park improvements at Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park.

  • Washington County: The Board of Commissioners had a workshop to discuss the American Rescue Plan Act 2022 Recovery Plan. See page pg. 15 of this packet for the PowerPoint presentation that outlines the 2022 Recovery Plan and next steps.

Minnesota News

  • Energy: In total, the deal struck over the energy budget would have spent about $46.5 million from the state’s general fund over the next three years and another $36 million from the Renewable Development Account. Another part of the deal, which never passed, was money required by the federal government to access parts of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Some of the money in the IIJA is doled out for energy projects in a broad array of competitive grant programs that require varying amounts of matching funds to cover part of any given initiative.

  • Public Safety: Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday announced a plan to spend just under $40 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to boost public safety, mental health and childcare needs around the state. After negotiations for a special legislative session to pass $8 billion in tax relief and new spending fizzled to a halt last week, Walz said that he would use remaining American Rescue Plan dollars to increase funding to law enforcement agencies, the Department of Corrections, and other groups that requested dollars from the state.

  • Mille Lacs tribe awarded $3M in federal funding: Over $3 million in federal funding has been awarded to the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe to boost tribal entrepreneurship. On Tuesday, U.S. senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced that the Economic Development Administration awarded the funding, which is provided through the American Rescue Plan's Indigenous Communities program.

National News

  • ARPA data: The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, the watchdog agency responsible for monitoring the historic disbursement of federal dollars, promotes data collection both as a way to encourage transparency and uncover fraud, abuse and mismanagement. On Wednesday, the committee held a webinar featuring officials who have prioritized openness when it comes to pandemic relief funds.

  • Idaho surplus: Idaho this year had extra revenue that was equal to nearly half the amount of its general fund revenues, and that was on top of federal aid. Learn how the budgeting principle helped guide how state leaders hashed out spending and tax policy this year and led to enacting a range of policies that included beefing up savings, making capital investments, paying down debt, and enacting short-term and ongoing tax cuts.

  • Zoos: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) are announcing distribution of the second wave of awards – a total of over $9 million – under the Endangered Species COVID-19 Relief program, funded by the American Rescue Plan.

IIJA News

  • Reversing Infrastructure Permitting Changes: Senate Republicans are seeking to undo President Biden’s restrengthening of environmental permitting regulations for major infrastructure projects. It highlights fears among business and labor groups that reversing the Trump administration’s easing of National Environmental Policy Act rules could slow down projects funded under the bipartisan Investment and Jobs Act.

  • Reconnecting Communities: Localities applying for federal money to reconnect neighborhoods carved apart by highways, rail lines, or other infrastructure will get an edge if they consult with long-time residents, businesses, and community groups, the Biden administration announced Thursday .The details come as the administration formally opened the grant process for the Reconnecting Communities pilot program, a part of the federal infrastructure law Congress passed last year. More here and at the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program.

  • Bioproduct pilot: The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for a new pilot program created under President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support the development of biobased products that have lower carbon footprints and increase the use of renewable agricultural materials, creating new revenue streams for farmers.

Upcoming Webinars

Resources

  • ARPA Equity: The United States Conference of Mayors and the Kresge Foundation recently published The American Rescue Plan Act: Promoting Equity through ARPA Implementation, a comprehensive report that evaluates how different American cities utilized their ARPA funding to further equity goals. The report reviews 20 different cities, highlighting the equity programs, short- and long-term impacts, external resources and stakeholders, and lessons learned from each. Here is a summary of the report findings.

  • 8 city-focused podcasts: Local government innovation is the focus of a growing number of podcasts that highlight progress in cities and, importantly, how creative, citizen-focused, and data-driven leadership is driving this change. Here are some of the best podcasts covering this terrain, locally, nationally, and internationally.

  • The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Toolkit: The ARP Toolkit was developed by the Southern Economic Advancement Project to assist community leaders, local officials and advocates to better understand the program, all while promoting equity and community engagement.

Upcoming Funding Deadlines










Have a great weekend and 4th of July, all!

Allison

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