AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN
FAQs

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law on March 11 by President Biden. ARPA has allocated $622,719,759 for Utah's counties from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) to be used as aid in Utah communities. These funds are allocated for five primary uses:

  • Support public health response;

  • Address negative economic impacts;

  • Replace public sector revenue loss;

  • Premium pay for essential workers; and

  • Water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

To learn more about these funds and to apply to receive them, please read through the FAQs below.

How can my county get the relief funds?


You can apply directly with the Treasury Department through their Funding Portal. SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS To complete a submission on behalf of your jurisdiction, you will be asked to provide the following information: 1. Jurisdiction name, taxpayer ID number, DUNS Number, and address 2. Authorized representative name, title, and email 3. Contact person name, title, phone, and email 4. Funds transfer information, including recipient’s financial institution, address, phone, and routing number and account number 5. Completed award terms and conditions (to be signed by the authorized representative) Jurisdictions must submit a request to receive funding even if they have previously applied for other programs through the Treasury Submission Portal. Eligible jurisdictions will receive further communications regarding the status of their submission via the email address provided in the Treasury Submission Portal. The Treasury has provided a Submission Preparation Checklist to make submission easier.




What can a county use the relief funds for?


There are five primary ways – outside of the “lost revenue allowance” – that counties may invest Funds: 1. Support public health response: Fund COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral health care and certain county public health, public safety, human services and other related staff. 2. Address negative economic impacts: Respond to economic harms to workers, families, small businesses, impacted industries and rehiring of public sector workers (including county staff). 3. Replace public sector revenue loss: Use funds to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced during the pandemic – this provision allows a much broader use of Funds. 4. Premium pay for essential workers: Offer additional compensation, up to $13 per hour in additional wages, to those – both county employees and other workers in the community – who have faced and continue to face the greatest health risks due to their service. Counties should prioritize low- and moderate-income persons, with additional written justification needed for workers above 150 percent of the residing state’s average annual wage for all occupations or their residing county’s average annual wage, whichever is higher. Funds can be used retroactively back to January 27, 2020. 5. Water, sewer and broadband infrastructure: Make necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, invest in wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and provide unserved or underserved locations with new or expanded broadband access. Lost Revenue Allowance Counties may use Fiscal Recovery Funds for the provision of “government services” to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The term “government services” outlines very broad and flexible uses of revenue recoupment funds outside the standard eligibility requirements outlined in other categories (Public Health Response, Negative Economic Impacts, Premium Pay and Water, Sewer and Broadband Infrastructure) of the Interim Rule. For example, while general infrastructure and economic development investments are not generally eligible under the Fund, counties may use an amount up to their “lost revenue” amount for these activities. However, lost revenue recoupment shall not be used for rainy day or reserve funds, or debt service payments. Routine Pension Costs of Employees Recovery Funds cannot be used for deposits into defined benefit pension funds. HOWEVER, Treasury defines a “deposit” as an extraordinary contribution to a defined benefit pension fund for the purpose of reducing an accrued, unfunded liability. Counties may use funds for routine payroll contributions to pensions of employees whose wages and salaries are an eligible use.




How much money does my county get in relief funds?


You can view how much is available to your county here.




What is the timeline for using the funds?


The covered period begins March 3, 2021 and ends on December 31, 2024, a few important distinctions and exceptions to the covered period: -Funds must be INCURRED (i.e. obligated) by December 31, 2024 -Funds must be EXPENDED with all WORK PERFORMED and COMPLETED by December 31, 2026 -Counties may provide premium pay retroactively, dating back to the start of the public health emergency on January 27, 2020 There is no deadline for applying for funds as long as it is before December 31, 2024, but counties are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The Treasury will distribute funds no later than 60 days after a county certifies it needs funds.




How can I learn more?


The Treasury has provided a comprehensive FAQ Document. Open the document and use "ctrl" + "f" on your keyboard to type in a keyword to find the answer to your question. NACo has also provided an Overview for America's Counties and a useful FAQ webpage and have more resources about ARPA that can be accessed here.




Do we need to report our use of the funds?


Yes. According to the Treasury's Compliance and Reporting Guidance for State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), you are required to submit a one-time interim report by August 31, 2021 with expenditures by Expenditure Category from the date of award to July 31, 2021. The recipient will be required to enter obligations and expenditures and, for each, select the specific expenditure category from the available options. Additionally, if your county receives more than $5m in funds must submit a quarterly report. Please look through this Treasury Reporting Document (linked above) carefully for more information. You can learn more about reporting and view helpful webinars on reporting here.




What if my questions haven't been answered by the Treasury or NACo?


The Treasury will be issuing its Final Rule by October if not sooner. NACo collected comments from county elected officials across the county and have submitted those questions to the Treasury to be answered. You can find the list of the requested clarifications here.