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  • Writer's pictureJocelyn Thompson

September 9th, 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.


Did you catch the Brookings’ blog about the MSP ARPA Tracker? Link below.

News from MSP Cities and Counties

  • Anoka County: The Anoka County Board on Aug. 23 approved $100,000 from its federal American Rescue Plan Act allocation that will be distributed to five food shelves in the county ($20,000 each), while the Anoka County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, also on Aug. 23, authorized grants to two food shelves from its federal Community Development Block Grant pot.

  • Dakota County: The Dakota County Board's vote to approve a construction bid and contract has cemented plans for a new, county-operated South St. Paul library to be located by the high school, ending a yearslong debate over the library's ideal location and who should run it. Dakota County will fund the library's construction with American Rescue Plan money.

  • Saint Paul: The Soul Apartments, a Schafer Richardson development at the intersection of Robert Street and Plato Boulevard on the City’s West Side, will add much-needed deeply affordable housing for Saint Paul families. Utilizing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to expand the amount of stable, permanent, affordable housing for Saint Paul’s lowest-income residents, who are most cost-burdened and disproportionately affected by the housing crisis.


Minnesota News

  • Tracking ARPA: Brookings Metro and GREATER MSP created tools that gather, summarize, and visualize how local governments are putting SLFRF dollars to work. Brookings Metro partnered with the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties to produce the Local Government ARPA Investment Tracker. And as part of its MSP Federal Funding Hub project, GREATER MSP partnered with 12 cities and 17 counties in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region to generate the MSP ARPA Tracker, which tracks those jurisdictions’ spending plans.

  • Food stamps: More Minnesotans could be eligible this week for food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP income limits raised this year by the Legislature take effect Thursday, which means an additional 1,400 households may be eligible to receive or continue to receive food stamps. Gov. Tim Walz allocated $5 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds for food banks and tribal nations with the approval of the Legislative COVID-19 Response Commission.

  • Buttigieg at the fair: U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg paid a visit to the Minnesota State Fair, meeting with Governor Walz to discuss advancing Minnesota's infrastructure and celebrate the $100 million in federal transportation funding coming to Minnesota.

  • Taxing student debt relief: Minnesotans who qualify for student loan forgiveness under President Joe Biden's plan could be in for an unpleasant surprise next tax season. If Biden's plan remains intact and the Legislature doesn't act, Minnesota borrowers whose debt is erased or reduced will have to pay state income tax on the relief. The Legislature had a deal to change tax law to match the federal American Rescue Plan Act during the last session but failed to pass an overall tax bill.

  • USDA Announces Its Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement with Minnesota: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with Minnesota under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture seeks to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers. The LFPA program is authorized by the American Rescue Plan to maintain and improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency.


National ARPA News

  • Biden seeks $47B: President Joe Biden is asking Congress to provide more than $47 billion in emergency dollars through The American Rescue Plan Act that would go toward the war in Ukraine, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing monkeypox outbreak and help for recent natural disasters in Kentucky and other states.

  • Affordable Housing: After $150 billion for affordable housing was stripped from the legislation, advocates are looking for alternatives to secure funding they say is urgently needed to address rising rents and home prices. They are urging agencies to take emergency steps from pushing states and localities to spend more American Rescue Plan Act dollars to deal with rising homelessness and housing prices.

  • Homelessness Several municipalities have gotten creative with their use of COVID-19 relief funds. In Madison, Wisconsin, the city allocated nearly $9 million in American Rescue Plan funds for addressing homelessness. $2 million went toward creating a tiny house village.

  • Ohio: Local leaders from across Ohio gathered at the White House on Wednesday to describe how a recent wave of federal funding has helped their communities avoid public sector job cuts and make new investments in economic development and other areas. The discussion comes as communities across the U.S. are deciding how to spend billions of dollars of direct pandemic aid from the American Rescue Plan Act, as well as funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law President Biden signed last year.

  • Medicaid for new moms: States around the country are making it easier for new moms to keep Medicaid in the year after childbirth, a time when depression and other health problems can develop. The coverage extensions, which last five years, are backed partly by funding from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act States will have to pay some of the bills.

  • Build Back Better:

    • Twenty-one regional coalitions will receive a funding boost from the federal government as they try to build more equitable economies based on emerging industries. The winners of the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, overseen by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, were announced last Friday. They will receive grants ranging from $25 million to $65 million.

    • The BBBRC provides five-year grants ranging between $25 million and $65 million to urban, rural, and tribal regions. These investments support the local development of nationally critical industries and technologies in ways that deliver economic opportunity to traditionally undeserved people and communities.


Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) News

  • Broadband: Louisiana is receiving a $2 million grant under the $42.4 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program. The money is set to go toward costs like identifying areas lacking broadband, stakeholder outreach and mapping broadband-related assets. The state will also receive about $941,000 from a $2.75 billion pool of funding included under what's known as the Digital Equity Act. This package of three grant programs was also included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

  • EV Charger Buildout: In many ways they’re in uncharted terrain as they plan for a $5 billion influx of federal funds to create a national network of electric vehicle charging stations. State and local officials should get an idea in the coming weeks of how the federal government plans to roll out one of its biggest programs for building a national electric vehicle charging network. Every state has submitted a proposal for how it plans to fulfill the national requirements, but the federal government is still firming up guidelines for the five-year effort.

  • Cybersecurity Grants: Federal grants worth $1 billion could position state and local governments to harden their networks and protect themselves from cyber threats. Here’s what to keep in mind. The federal funding, provided by the 2021 Infrastrucutre Investment and Jobs Act, will also help states and localities make more meaningful progress in developing, revising and implementing their cybersecurity plans.

  • USDA: The Biden-Harris Administration announced more than $65 million of investments to help the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service improve water quality, roads, trails and fish habitat nationwide. Made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, today is the first round of a $25.5 million investment over five years through the new Collaborative Aquatic Landscape Restoration Program and more than $40 million for Fiscal Year 2022 projects for the already successful Legacy Roads and Trails Program.

  • DOE: The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today issued a Request for Information (RFI) to help guide the implementation of $335 million in investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for lithium-ion battery recycling programs. Batteries are critical to powering clean energy technologies—from providing energy storage for the electric grid to zero-emissions transportation options, such as electric trucks, buses, or personal vehicles.

  • EPA: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of 39 recipients across the country that will receive nearly $12 million in pollution prevention (P2) grants made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's historic $100 million program investment. These grants will allow states and Tribes to provide businesses with technical assistance to help them develop and adopt P2 practices to prevent or reduce pollution before it is even created, while also reducing business and liability costs.

Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) News

  • Tree Canopies Cool Neighborhoods: Included in the Inflation Reduction Act President Biden signed into law last week are $1.5 billion in grants the federal government will be sending to states, local governments and nonprofits over the next decade to plant trees.

  • Climate: A new report outlines how cities and states can leverage the historic Inflation Reduction Act to unlock unprecedented opportunities to accelerate commitments to climate action.

  • Citizen Engagement on Climate: It's a pivotal moment for climate spending with billions in new federal funding available. Broad input from residents can help local governments build stronger programs. With the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (Which is really more about climate than inflation) this is an important moment for local governments to take advantage of the opportunities of the day to preserve clean air and water for generations to come.

CHIPS Act News

  • Semiconductor Industry Growth: The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology introduced new advice to help successfully implement the CHIPS Act and develop an advanced U.S. semiconductor market.


Upcoming Webinars

  • Energy Efficiency: Join Mike Bloomberg, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, and other speakers to learn about opportunities in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for cities and towns to access funding for initiatives and programs that will reduce fossil fuel emissions, cut down on energy usage, and improve energy efficiency in communities. The webinar is on September 13 at 1 pm CT. Register here.

  • Taking Advantage of Federal Funds: Local Energy Efficiency Policies and Programs to Consider: This hour-long webinar on September 20th at 1 pm, organized jointly by the Sustainable States Network (SSN) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) will showcase leading energy efficiency programs from across the country that communities can learn from and replicate as they prepare to leverage new federal funding opportunities. Register here.

  • Infrastructure Funding: Gain strategic insight into creating competitive applications for FEMA’s Build Resilient Infrastructure and Communities funding opportunity under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Join a webinar on September 27 at 1 pm CT. Register here.

  • ACEEE’s Self-Scoring Tool: Results from the Community Energy Challenge: This ACEEE/SSN webinar on September 29th at 12 pm will show communities how to use ACEEE’s latest self-scoring tool to measure their community's energy efficiency and clean energy progress and highlight results from the most recent cohort of SSN’s Community Energy Challenge. Register here.


Resources

  • Racial Equity: The Urban Institute published a toolkit that can equip local government agencies and researchers with the strategies needed to collaborate with community residents as fellow experts.

  • 3 steps for every city leader to lead confidently with data: Cities have come a long way over the past decade in using data to solve problems. But even the most data-savvy mayors hit roadblocks. As 22 mayors from across the Americas get started in the new Bloomberg Philanthropies City Data Alliance program, the first topic they're exploring is how to lead confidently with data. Here, Johns Hopkins University’s Beth Blauer and Amy Edwards Holmes, who are helping lead the City Data Alliance program, lay out steps mayors can take to build that confidence—both personally and across their organizations

  • A new tech tool to help communities confront climate risks: The Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation(CRMA) portal is an online dashboard that provides real-time and location-specific information about extreme weather threats. It features an interactive map that offers hazard-specific information, such as how many personnel are responding to a particular wildfire or what kinds of flood alerts have been issued in a certain community.

  • 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.


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.

  • Overview of the three Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOAS)

  • Notice of Intent (NOI)


Have a great weekend, all!

Allison

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