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Barnstable County Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Updates

As of 12/21/22, the Barnstable County Board of Commissioners has allocated over $40 Million in ARPA funding.

 

$11.4 Million in ARPA Funds to Address Housing Challenges

On 2/22/23 the Barnstable County Regional Board of Commissioners approved $11.4 million in ARPA funds to address housing and homelessness based on the recommendations of the Barnstable County ARPA Advisory Committee.

The recommendations include $3 million for sheltering and medical respite for homeless individuals, $6.9 million for gap funding for affordable housing projects that are currently underway, and $1.5 million for workforce housing focusing on the “missing middle” and supporting the seasonal workforce through innovative public/private partnerships such as promoting zoning changes, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), and formalizing a host network. 

Eligible applicants for this round of ARPA funding include non-profit organizations, private/for-profit organizations, and municipalities through a request for proposal (RFP) process to be administered by Barnstable County.  

$5 Million in Grants for Support to Cape Cod Communities

On 8/3/22 funds were appropriated to provide $5 million in grants, via a competitive process, to local government units, nonprofits, and private/for-profit organizations to support the region’s economic recovery from COVID–19.

Between 8/24/22 and 9/30/22, the County received 122 Letters of Intent (LOIs) totaling over $40 million from Cape Cod organizations with interest in applying. Forty projects totaling $14 million moved forward to the application phase via the County’s ARPA Online Application Portal. Twenty projects were awarded funding in May 2023.

 

$12.8 million for Essential County Projects

On 2/2/23, Barnstable County approved $12,758,514 in ARPA funding for regional projects that will expand and sustain the County’s investment in water quality, affordable housing, post-COVID public health, emergency management needs, upgrades to County services, and investments in the County Dredge. The approval of this critical ARPA funding for County projects will provide regional, long-term investments into Cape Cod.

$10 Million to Provide Critical Resources Directly to 15 Towns

On 4/27/22 funds were appropriated to provide $10 million in Barnstable County APRA grants to the 15 towns on Cape Cod.  All 15 towns have been awarded their funding, with the majority of expenditures planned to address water quality-related issues.  Please refer to each town for additional expenditure detail.

Background

Barnstable County has received $41.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act ARPA funds from the US Treasury.  

All 15 towns have also received federal ARPA funds. 

To date, the Barnstable County Board of Commissioners has allocated $40 Million in ARPA funding.  The U.S. Treasury requires that ARPA funds be obligated by 12/31/24 and expended by 12/31/26.   

Since the first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was discovered in the United States in January 2020, the disease has infected over 32 million and killed over 575,000 Americans. The disease has impacted every part of life: as social distancing became a necessity, businesses closed, schools transitioned to remote education, travel was sharply reduced, and millions of Americans lost their jobs.

Amid this once-in-a-century crisis, state, local, and tribal governments have been called on to respond at an immense scale. Governments have faced myriad needs to prevent and address the spread of COVID-19, including testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, public communications, issuance and enforcement of health orders, expansions to health system capacity like alternative care facilities, and in recent months, a massive nationwide mobilization around vaccinations.  Governments also have supported major efforts to prevent COVID-19 spread through safety measures in settings like nursing homes, schools, congregate living settings, dense worksites, incarceration settings, and public facilities. The pandemic’s impacts on behavioral health, including the toll of pandemic-related stress, have increased the need for behavioral health resources.

In responding to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts, state, local, and tribal governments have seen substantial increases in costs to provide expanded services, often amid considerable declines in revenue due to the economic downturn and changing economic patterns during the pandemic.

Additionally, although the pandemic’s impacts have been widespread, both the public health and economic impacts of the pandemic have fallen most severely on communities and populations that were disadvantaged before it began. Low-income communities, people of color, and tribal communities have faced higher rates of infection, hospitalization, and death, as well as higher rates of unemployment and lack of basic necessities like food and housing. Unfortunately, the pandemic also has reversed many gains made by communities of color in the prior economic expansion.

Read the ARPA Quick Reference Guide to learn more

Read the ARPA Final Rule in its entirety

ARPA is Signed into Law

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law, thereby establishing two Fiscal Recovery Funds: the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund and the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery. The funds are intended to provide support to state, local, and tribal governments in responding to the impact of COVID-19 on their communities, residents, and businesses.

Through the Fiscal Recovery Funds, Congress provided State, local, and Tribal governments with significant resources to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its economic impacts through four categories of eligible uses:

1) To respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality;

2) To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers;

3) For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID–19 public health emergency relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency; and

4) To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.

The importance of public input, transparency, and accountability are central to the implementation of the Fiscal Recovery Funds. Therefore, state, territorial, tribal, and local governments are urged to engage their constituents and communities in developing plans to use these payments, given the scale of funding and its potential to catalyze broader economic recovery and rebuilding.

What does this mean for Barnstable County?

Federal grant funds totaling $41.3 million were allocated to Barnstable County to expend between 2021 – 2026 on COVID-19 recovery efforts and regional investments in key areas.  All 15 towns have also received federal ARPA funds. Barnstable County has received half of its allotment and will receive the other half in the spring of 2022.

The eligible use areas for Barnstable County’s allotment of ARPA funds, as approved by the Barnstable County Commissioners on November 10, 2021, are listed in order of priority as follows:

  1. Invest in water, sewer, and/or broadband.
  2. Fund public health system costs associated with the COVID response, and other costs and related capital investments necessary to strengthen the public health system of the County and its towns.
  3. Fund services for disproportionately impacted communities.
  4. Fund projects targeting the negative economic impacts of the COVID pandemic on households, small businesses, non-profits, impacted industries, and disproportionately impacted communities.
  5. Fund proposals to replace lost public sector revenue.
  6. Provide premium pay to employees providing essential work during COVID-19.

The Barnstable County Commissioner’s Office held a public comment period through 2/11/2022 for residents of Barnstable County and stakeholders to provide input and feedback on how the county’s ARPA funds should be prioritized and allocated. Click here to view the Community Engagement results.

The ARPA Advisory Committee’s mission is to advise the Barnstable County Board of Commissioners and Assembly of Delegates on regional funding priorities and to recommend criteria to identify projects of regional impact for funding.

The ARPA Advisory Committee will carry out its work while considering the following:

I.  Regionalism: The Committee’s frame of reference shall be Barnstable County as a region and, as appropriate, the four sub-regions of the Upper, Middle, Lower, and Outer Cape.

II. Data-Informed and Evidence-Based Recommendations: The Committee’s activities and resulting recommendations shall be driven by the data, analyses, and evidence developed to identify priorities and projects of regional impact.

III. Equity: The Committee shall include in its recommendations criteria for ensuring that regional ARPA funding addresses the needs of vulnerable populations and populations disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

IV. Transparency: Meetings of the full Committee will be conducted in accordance with Open Meeting Law.

V. Conflict of Interest: Voting Committee members shall adhere to the applicable provisions of Conflict of Interest Law.

Barnstable County has created a resource center for those seeking funding. Please visit ARPA Resource Center – Barnstable County (capecod.gov)

Application Portal for $5M Small/Medium-sized Grants – The County’s online ARPA Portal closed on the application deadline: 12/23/22. Completed applications will now move through the County’s established 3-level review process, in coordination with an independent accounting firm, from the end of December 2022 through the end of March 2023.  ARPA application Portal.

Application Portal for Towns only | $10M Grants   View Here

“The importance of public input, transparency, and accountability are central to the implementation of the Fiscal Recovery Funds. Therefore, state, territorial, tribal, and local governments are urged to engage their constituents and communities in developing plans to use these payments, given the scale of funding and its potential to catalyze broader economic recovery and rebuilding.”

–ARPA Interim Final Rule

To fulfill this vital requirement, Barnstable County Commissioners Office held a public comment period through 2/11/2022 for residents of Barnstable County and stakeholders to provide input and feedback on how the county’s ARPA funds should be prioritized and allocated.

Click here to review Community Engagement results

Read the ARPA Final Rule in its entirety

View Meeting and Agendas Below

ARPA Funds Allocated to the Town of Orleans for Key Improvements in the Meetinghouse Pond Sewer Area Project

Barnstable County has awarded eight grants to seven towns totaling $7,044,185.81  January 5, 2023 (Barnstable, MA) – The Barnstable County Board of Commissioners and Assembly of Delegates yesterday announced the award […]

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Barnstable County Commissioners Propose $11.4 Million in ARPA Funds to Address Housing Challenges

Information from the Barnstable County Commissioners’ Office December 27, 2022 (Barnstable, MA) – The Barnstable County Regional Board of Commissioners has allocated $11.4 million in ARPA funds to address housing and […]

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$13.7 Million in County Department ARPA Projects Proposed, and $5 Million ARPA Competitive Grants Process Moves to Application Phase

October 26, 2022 (Barnstable, MA) – At its meeting today the Barnstable County Regional Board of Commissioners reviewed a list of projects proposed by County departments totaling $13.7 million and was […]

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Barnstable County Awards ARPA Grants to Yarmouth and Bourne

Information from the Office of the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners and Assembly of Delegates ARPA funds allocated to the Town of Yarmouth for the Wastewater Infrastructure Design Phase and […]

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Barnstable County Announces Application Process for $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Grants

Information from the Office of the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners and Assembly of Delegates August 24, 2022 (Barnstable, MA) – Barnstable County officials today announced the opening of an application […]

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Barnstable County Awards ARPA Grant to Town of Bourne 

Information from the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners and the Assembly of Delegates ARPA funds allocated to Bourne for critical ambulance project Additional Towns strongly encouraged to submit funding […]

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