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  • Writer's pictureJocelyn Thompson

October 7th, 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.

Lots of local news this week, including a new federal grant award!

News from MSP Cities and Counties

  • Anoka County: The board approved a package of contracts for the construction of a new emergency communications center, estimated at $22,274,000. The county allocated $20 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars towards this project. Read more about the project here.

  • Dakota County: Dakota County leaders and state and federal lawmakers celebrated the groundbreaking of a new South St. Paul Library on Oct. 4, calling it a long-awaited project that will benefit the community in many ways. The library project is funded with $11.3 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed during the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S.

  • Edina: The Edina Theater had its first night of operation since the movie house closed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The city viewed the Edina Theater as enough of an economic driver to warrant $200,000 in COVID-related American Rescue Plan Act funds and a $300,000 forgivable loan from the Edina Housing and Redevelopment Authority. City documents associated with that funding estimated the renovation would cost $1.5 million.

  • Ramsey County: Ramsey County opened an Affordable Housing Development Readiness Solicitation, building off two previous solicitations, to increase and preserve the supply of deeply affordable housing options across the county. Ramsey County previously committed $37 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for affordable housing development-- matched by the City of Saint Paul.

  • Saint Paul:

    • Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence shelters in the Twin Cities have been consistently full. Now, after years of turning away those in need, a St. Paul-based nonprofit recently received funding to address the shortage. Starting Saturday, Women’s Advocates will begin providing four rooms at a time for up to 10 days at Twin Cities hotels for adults and their families in need of emergency shelter. The hotel-stay program was granted $20,000 through the American Rescue Plan, which is expected to fully fund it for about a year.

    • In June, Mayor Carter announced CollegeBound Boost, an initiative to expand Saint Paul’s guaranteed income and college savings programs. This new demonstration project will provide 333 low-income families enrolled in the CollegeBound Saint Paul program with a combination of $500 in guaranteed income payments each month for two years and deposits of $1,000 for each of their child’s CollegeBound Saint Paul college savings account. This initiative is supported by $4 million in American Rescue Plan funds and $1 million from philanthropy.

  • Sherburne County: Sherburne County Board OKs spending $450,000 in federal ARPA money at Grams Regional Park. This county park located east of Zimmerman is expected to see about $900,000 in improvements next year. Plans call for a new nature play area, a larger picnic shelter, and an expanded parking lot.


Minnesota News

  • EDA and Forge North: the U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded 51 "Build to Scale" grants – totaling $47 million – to organizations that support technology entrepreneurs, catalyze innovation and fuel economic growth. EDA’s “Build to Scale” program provides annual grants that aim to accelerate technology entrepreneurship by increasing inclusive access to support and startup capital. This EDA investment will support Forge North—a startup coalition for the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP) region. As a coalition of 130 startups, investment firms, entrepreneurial support organizations, corporations, government, and universities, the Forge North coalition is positioned to jointly engage and recruit thousands of Minnesotans to invest in startups.

  • PPL and LEAP: Project for Pride in Living (PPL), a partner of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Learn and Earn to Achieve Poten­tial (LEAP)™, has received funds totaling $1 million from the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Ramsey County, Minnesota. These funds will support LEAP pilot sites managed by PPL throughout Ramsey County, including the City of Saint Paul, at schools and community organizations. The dollars are part of a $24.8 million American Rescue Plan funding package for high-quality job training programs and workforce ini­tia­tives in the state.


National ARPA News

  • Remaining State ARPA Aid: States have already chosen where to spend the bulk of $195 billion in pandemic funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. A think tank is weighing in on what to do with the money that's left.

  • ARPA and the labor market: Pandemic aid from the American Rescue Plan Act has helped reduce unemployment, improve pay and offer much needed child care services for working families.

  • Federal Funds: A look at how U.S. local governments are using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to support children in areas like education and mental health.


Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) News

  • Diesel school bus phase-out: In May, EPA made $500 million available for the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates under a program created by the $1.2 trillion, bipartisan infrastructure law President Biden signed last year. But after receiving around 2,000 applications totaling almost $4 billion in requests, the agency announced last week that it would increase this year’s funding to $965 million.


Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) News

  • Permitting for clean energy: To meet America’s ambitious targets on greenhouse gas emissions, the country will have to quickly build a vast amount of clean energy infrastructure. Although there are many obstacles to the rapid deployment of such infrastructure, one key obstacle at the center of much debate is the federal permit process. As part of recent negotiations to secure the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Senator Joe Manchin made a “side deal” with Democratic leaders.

  • Permitting Problem: The president and Democrats want to expand significantly to expand the nation’s clean energy infrastructure greatly the nation’s clean energy infrastructure, but crucial grid upgrades require approvals that can take years. To reach those goals, the Biden administration included in its massive climate, healthcare, and tax package—the Inflation Reduction Act—subsidies to get more people to switch to electric-powered cars and heating, instead of those that run on fossil fuels.


CHIPS Act News

  • CHIPS and Science Act: McKinsey and Company created a helpful sheet to explain what is in The CHIPS and Science Act. The act invests $280 billion to bolster US semiconductor capacity, catalyze R&D, and create regional high-tech hubs and a bigger, more inclusive STEM workforce.

  • CHIPS and Science Act for rural America: Hidden among the $52 billion of investments allocated in the CHIPS and Science Act are landmark provisions in place-based policy, which are designed to enable a much wider array of communities across America to participate in, and reap the benefits of, the changing economy.

  • Tougher checks on semiconductor chip subsidies: A group of Democratic lawmakers wants the U.S. Commerce Department to take additional steps to ensure semiconductor companies do not use government subsidies to conduct stock buybacks. In August, President Joe Biden signed legislation providing $52 billion in government funding to boost semiconductor manufacturing and research and a 25% investment tax credit for chip plants estimated to be worth $24 billion.

  • $100 Billion Semiconductor Factory: Micron announced on Tuesday that it planned to spend as much as $100 billion over the next 20 years or more to build a huge computer chip factory complex in upstate New York, the latest move by a major semiconductor maker to invest in the United States. The commitment by Micron is a sign that the federal government’s prodding and package of generous incentives are helping to steer investment decisions. Legislation that passed in August, the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, provides $52 billion in grants and subsidies for companies to build and expand computer chip factories in the country.


Upcoming Webinars

  • Global Wellness Connections (GWC): Join Global Wellness Connections (GWC) and its partners are inviting you on October 7th from 8:30-10:00 am, and other leaders from across sectors and industries in the five state-Upper Midwest, to the roll-out briefing on the ‘Future of Wellbeing – Minnesota Leading the Way.’ Register here.

  • Join Route Fifty for Follow the Money 5: Fraud, Waste & Abuse! Learn more from industry experts about the potential misuse of these funds and how state/local governments can establish accountability and use these funds properly on October 11th at 12pm. While these investments are revolutionary, they also open up opportunities for fraud, waste, and abuse. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act along with the Inflation Reduction Act can provide great service to local governments, but it's also important to ensure these funds are not misallocated. Register here.


Resources

  • Great Lakes Federal Grant Navigation Program: NLC (National League of Cities) launched a free grant navigation program called the Great Lakes Federal Grant Navigation Program to assist local government staff with collecting the necessary data and applying for federal grants. Sign up here.

  • Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program: The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program provides credit assistance for qualified projects of regional and national significance. The TIFIA credit program is designed to fill market gaps and leverage substantial private co-investment through supplemental, subordinate investment in critical improvements to the nation's transportation system.

Key Links:


Upcoming Funding Deadlines


Notice of Intent (NOI)

  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE): The DOE launched more than $28 Million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for research and development (R&D) projects that will advance and preserve hydropower as a critical source of clean energy. This Notice of Intent (NOI) will offer three funding opportunities this fall to support research, development, and deployment of hydropower, including pumped storage hydropower, which can play a key role in integrating variable renewable energy sources on the electric grid.


Have a great weekend, all!

Allison

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