Barnstable County Tackles Deployment of ARPA Funds



HYANNIS – The Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates are tackling the deployment aspect of American Rescue Plan Act funds as the region continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the US Treasury Department, eligible uses of ARPA money include funding public health systems for COVID vaccination efforts, testing and contract tracing, and investing in water. , sewers or broadband infrastructure.

The funds can also be used to address negative economic stress on disproportionately affected small businesses and communities and to replace lost public sector revenue, including bonuses paid to employees providing essential work during the pandemic.

In total, towns in Barnstable County have received over $ 26 million in direct municipal ARPA assistance and the county itself has received over $ 41 million in ARPA funding.

Barnstable County Administrator Elizabeth Albert said Phase 1 will run through January next year and will include setting funding priorities and criteria for assessing funding requests.

The first steps in this phase are the county’s current position in the process, establishing the exact method of application and the overview that meets the requirements of the US Treasury.

An online application portal will be used for the application process.

Phase 2 will include additional outreach and the start of the application approval and rejection process, and will run until December 2022.

“The steps I am currently experiencing that are in place or will be in place are a review by an accounting firm who will review the applications to ensure they meet all the requirements of the ARPA legislation. There’s going to be a second level accounting review just to make sure the first level is right, ”Albert said.

“We take our fiduciary duty for this money very seriously.”

Albert said the county is still in the process of determining the next step in the application process, but all applications for funding will ultimately require approval from her and the county commissioners.

Phase 3, which runs from January 2024 to December 2024, will mainly focus on the effective application of financing plans and the mandated monitoring and follow-up of projects with the Treasury.

Funding applications will continue to be received and assessed until November 30, 2024, with the online application portal being closed on the same day.

Fund disbursement and closure are expected to be completed by December 2026.

Albert said another update on the status of the application and distribution process will be available in November, including how the county will tie regional funding to city funding.


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