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  • Writer's pictureJocelyn Thompson

July 22nd, 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.

This week we launched The MSP ARPA Tracker! Have you gotten a chance yet to play around with the data?

  • The MSP ARPA Tracker is a searchable, easy-to-use digital resource that tracks the spending plans of 12 counties and 17 cities in the Greater MSP region. Combined, these local governments are receiving $1.2 billion in flexible funding via the American Rescue Plan Act's Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program (SLFRF).

  • Press coverage this week:

News from MSP Cities and Counties

  • Brooklyn Park: Crime remains down nearly a year after Brooklyn Park Police launched a partnership with non-profit Minnesota Acts Now. In January, the City Council approved $1.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to continue this work through Dec. 31, 2022.

  • Carver County: Carver County commissioners awarded a contract for the Connect Up Carver County initiative to bring internet broadband the “last mile,” primarily unserved and underserved rural areas of the county. The bulk of funding will come from COVID-19 relief money and federal stimulus dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act.

  • Ramsey County:

    • The White House highlighted Ramsey County’s $1 Million Public Health Career Pathways program and addressing a shortage of quality childcare programs by offering new incentives and support.

    • Connectivity Blueprint is an initiative to create a community-guided roadmap to digital equity.

  • Saint Paul & Ramsey County:

    • Mayor Carter announced $10 million in new investments funded through American Rescue Plan funds including $4 million for Office of Neighborhood Safety community grants, $3 million in expanded programming and supports in our recreation centers and libraries, a $2 million match for the Department of Justice COPS grant program, and $1 million to support pedestrian-traffic safety.

    • Mayor Carter announced $15.3 million in City of Saint Paul American Rescue Plan (ARP) workforce investments to support economic opportunity for members of our community, including expanded pathways for youth employment. In combination with Ramsey County’s commitment of $9.5 million, the announcement reflects a combined investment of $24.8 million in ARP funding.

  • Savage: The Savage EDA has allocated $152,500 to support local small businesses that have had financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative is being funded by the City of Savage’s allocation from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • Scott County: Scott County created an ARPA dashboard. The following is a summary of how ARPA funds are being allocated in accordance with eligibility requirements and in alignment with the County Board’s Strategic Plan.

  • Sherburne County: Eight squad cars and a new countywide payroll system are the latest items that will be paid for by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

  • Washington County: The Washington County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to amend its $51 million American Rescue Plan Act project plan to provide $7.5 million to fill a gap in financing the construction of a new 60-unit affordable housing project that would require rent caps far below market value.

  • Wright County: Wright County came out with an ARPA Fund Allocation Survey Report.


Minnesota News

  • Arboretum parking: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.2 million grant to the Regents of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, to help build a new 232-stall parking lot to serve the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

  • Tracking Minnesota $: Minnesota’s local governments got roughly $1.2 billion from the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act, and $2.1 billion from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act.

  • Minnesota broadband: The U.S. Department of Treasury approved an additional group of four states under the American Rescue Plan's Coronovirus Capital Projects Fund (CPF): Kansas, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota. The CPF provides $10 billion to states, territories, freely associated states, and Tribal governments to fund critical capital projects that enable work, education, and health monitoring in response to public health emergencies.


National News

  • National ARPA tracking: As the COVID-19 economic and public health emergencies slowly abate, local leaders nationwide are adjusting to a reality in which—at least in the short term—they have significant resources to address both acute and long-standing challenges. Many of those resources are flowing to cities and counties via the American Rescue Plan Act's (ARPA) flexible State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF).

  • ARPA criticism: Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate have been bashing projects paid for with American Rescue Plan Act dollars that they see as wasteful. It could be a sign of further scrutiny to come if they take back one or both chambers of Congress.

  • Cash payments: The $31.5 million Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot will distribute $500 to 5,000 households for the next twelve months. The program is designed to target low-income residents who suffered disproportionate economic hardship during the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • ARPA workforce spending: States, localities, territories and tribes are looking to plow over $13 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act toward workforce investments, the White House said last Wednesday.

  • Broadband for all: To maximize the $65 billion in federal funds available to expand high-speed internet, governments must first identify the biggest barriers to access in their communities.

  • Megaproject permitting: The process of getting permits for infrastructure projects that involve federal lands or federal agencies has long been a source of frustration for state and local officials. But a Biden administration official says a new agency is helping to speed those projects along.

  • Mayors using data: Twenty-two mayors from across the Americas have joined a new initiative to better understand how to harness data to improve government functions and better serve their constituents. The new effort has 22 members including Rochester, Minnesota in the initial cohort and is expected to grow to 100 mayors during the next two years.

  • Equity: Chicago releases a data-driven plan to reshape the future of the city with a focus on equity and acknowledging the harmful impact of past policies.

  • Housing: As home and rent prices rise rapidly around the country, House Democrats on Wednesday approved a measure calling for a $9 billion increase in federal spending on housing.

IIJA News

  • NLC: America’s cities, towns and villages are ready to use grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to rebuild the infrastructure projects their communities need.

  • $84B awarded: The U.S. Department of Transportation has already announced recipients of nearly $84B in grant funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg during a daylong hearing Tuesday of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

  • Service programs: Funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is starting to flow across the country, accelerating thousands of transportation, water, energy, and other projects. The influx means even more workers will be needed, and now is the time to start planning—and filling—these positions. That is where service and conservation programs come in.

  • Transformative infrastructure funding: Over $850 billion in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is currently making its way to state and local governments.

  • Partisan discord: Republicans are clashing with the Biden administration over the rollout of the $1.2 trillion package, including on priorities like getting more electric vehicles on the road.

  • Commercial EV Charging: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) appropriate at least $7.5 billion in funding applicable for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula (NEVI) Program and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure discretionary grant program.

  • The White House: The Biden-Harris Administration today launched an interagency effort, called the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation (FICOR), that will work to create more safe, affordable, and equitable opportunities for Americans to get outdoors.

  • Drinking water: The EPA released a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Resources for Drinking Water webpage that features resources designed to help states and water systems with the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

Upcoming Webinars

  • Poynter Institute: On July 26th at 12:00 CT, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion among experienced data journalists and Poynter experts. Register here.

  • Smart grants: The U.S. Department of Transportation will host a webinar to provide information about the upcoming Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program, scheduled for 12 p.m. CT on July 28, 2022. Register here.

  • Route Fifty:

    • Join Route Fifty for a Conversation With White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu on July 28th at 12:00pm. Register here.

    • Learn how state and local leaders are adapting to the change in the economic landscape and how they are ensuring this one-time influx of funds is still able to produce generational change. Join Route Fifty for our next installment of Follow the Money on August 9th at 12:00 pm. Register here.

Resources

  • Grant navigation: NLC launched a free grant navigation program to assist local government staff with collecting the necessary data and applying for federal grants.

  • IIJA: Twenty-Eight resources for understanding the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

  • NACo: Watch the video from the NACo Annual Conference, where county leaders outline new initiatives and how they are deploying resources from the American Rescue Plan.

Upcoming Funding Deadlines


Have a great weekend, all!

Allison

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