What is the American Rescue Plan?
The American Rescue plan provides $350 billion in federal funds for eligible state, local, territorial and tribal governments nationwide. Benton County will receive approximately $54 million over the next two years. The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide a substantial infusion of resources to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery. Below are non-exhaustive examples for which the funding can be used.
- Support the public health response. For example, vaccination programs, purchasing PPE, prevention and mitigation services
- Addressing negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency. For example, delivering assistance to workers and families, speeding the recovery of the tourism, travel and hospitality sectors supporting industries hard-hit by COVID19
- Serving the hardest hit communities & families. For example, addressing health disparities and other social determinants of health, investments in housing and neighborhoods.
- Replacing lost public sector revenue. For example, maintenance of infrastructure, including roads, environment remediation, health services unrelated to COVID19.
- Providing premium pay for essential workers. For example, staff at nursing homes, hospitals, and home-care settings, any work performed by an employee of the state, local or tribal government, public health and safety staff.
- Investing in water and sewer infrastructure. For example, Managing & treating stormwater or subsurface drainage water, investments in public-owned treatment infrastructure including building or upgrading water and sewer facilities.
- Investing in broadband infrastructure. For example, building broadband infrastructure with modern technologies in mind, specifically those projects which deliver services offering reliable 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload speeds unless impracticable due to topography, geography or financial cost.
- One-Time Funding – There is no expectation that these funds would recur in the future and shall be treated as one time rather than funding on-going commitments.
- Nexus to Pandemic – to comply with restrictions on funding, a nexus to the pandemic should be clearly demonstrated. These may include:
- Pre-existing gaps- Circumstances may have existed prior to the pandemic, but the impacts or negative outcomes are exacerbated by the pandemic.
- Direct Impacts – Things that are necessary to respond to the present and immediate impacts associated with the pandemic. (may be characterized as disaster response.)
- Recovery – Items that improve or accelerate the recovery from COVID-19 for the County and its citizens or better prepare the County against future disasters.
- Needs Based / Data Informed – Project or Programs funding request should contain a demonstrated need and available data must be provided to properly align the funding with the need.
- Maximize Opportunity – The county should partner to the extent possible with cities, state or other agencies to create or support broader regional programs to stretch the impact of county funding.
- Avoid Duplication – Significant disaster funding has been approved at the State and Federal Level. The county should not duplicate funding unless the need shows current funding is inadequate to meet that need.
- Prioritize Transformational Projects -The county should prioritize projects or programs that may be transformational in solving challenges or improving its ability to serve constituents.
- Transparency – establish ARP website, communication tools, clear process.
Over the next two years, Benton County will receive $54 million total from the American Rescue Plan. The Benton County Quorum Court formed an American Rescue Plan Committee which will be the legislative body determining how and where these funds will be utilized. All members of the Quorum Court are on the American Rescue Plan Committee. You can find your Quorum Court member here.
The American Rescue Plan Committee will initially meet on the following tentative dates at the Benton County Quorum Court room at 215 E. Central Avenue to discuss the relief topics. More meetings may be scheduled in the future.
|Public Health, Economic Recovery. Click here to watch meeting recording.||Monday, August 16th @ 6:00 p.m.|
|County Workforce. Click here to watch the meeting recording.||Tuesday, August 17th after regularly scheduled 6:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole Meeting|
|Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee||Thursday, September 9th @ 6:00 p.m.|
|County Facilities, Infrastructure: Water, Sewer & Broadband||Tuesday, September 14th after regularly scheduled 6:00 p.m. Finanace Committee Meeting|
|County Facilities, Infrastructure||Tuesday, September 21st after regularly scheduled 6:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole meeting|
Frequently Asked Questions
Please click here for a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions regarding the American Rescue Plan.
For any further questions please email AmericanRescuePlan@bentoncountyar.gov.