American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) (H.R. 1319) is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic challenges. First proposed on January 14, 2021, the package builds upon many of the measures in the CARES Act 2020 and in the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021, including $350 billion in state and local Aid, divided evenly between non-county municipalities and counties.
The draft ARPA Expenditure Plan was brought to the Board of Supervisors on 4/27/2021 (see below for links to key documents). In that meeting, it was identified that there would be flexibility and that the Plan would be revisited in the upcoming months as priorities change. Specific expenditures will be evaluated and brought to the Board of Supervisors on a periodic basis throughout the eligible period (beginning on March 3, 2021, and end on December 31, 2024).
Detailed guidance on the use of ARPA funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury is still underway, and all expenses will be evaluated for further eligibility based on that guidance. The draft plan summarized below is based on initial guidelines.
- 5/25/21 Board Meeting: Resolution 21-176 Accepting ARPA Funding Award
- 5/25/21 Board Meeting: ARPA Staff Report
- Media Release: Supervisors Award $5.8 Million to Support Local Economy
- 4/27/21 Board Meeting: ARPA Staff Report
- 4/27/21 Board Meeting: ARPA PowerPoint Presentation
- 4/27/21 Board Meeting Video
$5.8M to Support the Local Economy
The Nevada County Board of Supervisors unanimously allocated 30% of the County’s $19.3 Million allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), approximately $5.8 Million, to support “Community & Economic Resiliency.” The $5.8 Million is intended to offset COVID-19 related economic hardships and disruptions to local businesses and nonprofits and foster economic recovery.
$2.5M for Relief and Recovery
The “Community Benefit Grants Program” will be funded with up to $2 Million to support community-serving institutions and organizations with macro-grants up to $100,000. Eligible entities that serve families, seniors, or the community at large would be eligible to apply.
Small businesses will once again be eligible to apply for micro-grants up to $5,000 from the Nevada County Relief Fund. The County’s infusion of $250,000 will fund a fifth round for the Relief Fund, which has raised over $1.35 Million over the past year, helping dozens of small businesses and nonprofits countywide. Small businesses will also be eligible to apply for low-interest loans from the “Resilience Fund,” a revolving loan fund administered by the Sierra Business Council. The County plans to seed the loan fund with $250,000.
$2.5M for Infrastructure Improvements for Economic Development
The Board set aside up to $2.5 Million for a new “Nevada County Economic Recovery Funds.” These funds will advance economic development and community resiliency by investing in infrastructure improvements such as broadband expansion, housing development, wildfire mitigation, and water and sewer systems.
$800,000 for Visitor Safety at Outdoor Recreation Destinations
The past year highlighted the intensity of visitor impacts at river crossings and major trailheads. The $800,000 for “Nevada County Outdoor Recreation and Visitor Safety Funds” will provide resources to enhance public safety and economic development by investing in programs and infrastructure at the County’s most heavily used outdoor recreation destinations. County funds could be used for facility improvements like restrooms and parking lots, safety patrols, and emergency call boxes, and coordinated planning to identify priority projects and get them “shovel ready” as additional funds become available.
COVID Cost Recovery ($9.7M) & County Revenue Loss (3.9M)
Examples of expense categories include:
- Support to Nevada County's Public Health Department.
- Staffing, equipment/expenses to continue providing services with health and safety of staff and the public.
- Infrastructure investment to support operations and buildings.
- Increased support of mental health, nutrition, housing, and homelessness as they intersect with the emergency response.
- Waiver of Environmental Health & Code Compliance Fees/Penalties.
- Lost gas tax revenue.
- Federal Marshal revenue loss.
- HHSA lost revenue related to administrative costs.