American Rescue Plan Act: State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds
About the Act
In March 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a COVID-19 relief package. This Act includes billions in federal funding for state and local governments, known as State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF). This federal aid is intended to address economic impacts of the pandemic and ensure a strong and equitable recovery.
COVID-19 American Rescue Plan Act Advisory Committee
Public input is the cornerstone of good governance. Determined to utilize these onetime federal resources wisely, Ottawa County formed the American Rescue Plan Act Committee. Appointed by the Board of Commissioners, the Committee is comprised of 19 community members representing a cross-section of local public and private organizations. The Committee's sole purpose is to guide how the $57 million in SLFRF monies will be distributed.
Meet the Committee
The 19 Committee members represent a range of industry sectors, including (but not limited to): local government; charitable foundations economic development; nonprofit; and human services agencies. Through a careful review process, these community leaders will assist with drafting funding options and priorities for the County Board Finance & Administration Standing Committee and the Board of Commissioners.
Board Member/Title Sector Roger Bergman
Commissioner, District 10
County Commissioner Joseph Baumann
Commissioner, District 2
County Commissioner Patrick McGinnis
Manager, Grand Haven City
Local Unit of Government Keith Van Beek
Manager, Holland City
Local Unit of Government Adam Elenbaas**
Supervisor, Allendale Charter Township
Local Unit of Government Terry Nienhuis
Supervisor, Holland Charter Township
Local Unit of Government Jennifer Owens
President, Lakeshore Advantage
Economic Development Joy Gaasch
President, Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce
Local Chamber Elizabeth Butler
Director of Economic Development Strategic Directions, Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce
Local Chamber Hadley Streng
President Grand Haven Area Community Foundation
Foundation Holly Cole
Vice President of Grants & Programs, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation
Foundation Mike Goorhouse
President/CEO, Community Foundation Holland/Zeeland Area
Foundation Patrick Moran
President, Greater Ottawa County United Way
Social/Human Services Patrick Cisler
Executive Director, Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance & Community Spoke
Social/Human Services Gloria Lara
Executive Director, Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance
Social/Human Services Ryan Kilpatrick
Executive Director, Housing Next
Economic Development/Housing Dr. Dale Nesbary
President, Muskegon Community College
Higher Education Tina Dee
Director of Strategic Initiatives, Muskegon Community College
Higher Education Karen Karasinski
Director, Fiscal Services
County Robyn Afrik
Director, Diversity Equity & Inclusion
County John Shay
Interim County Administrator
County Paul Sachs
Director, Department of Strategic Impact
** Mark Bennett, Supervisor, Tallmadge Township, serves as alternate
The goal of the Committee is to thoughtfully distribute the $57 million to areas of need which will generate quantifiable and positive outcomes. To achieve this, committee members and Ottawa County Department of Strategic Impact staff developed "Lenses of Focus" as a means to guide its decision-making process for assessing and selecting projects to receive SLFRF funds. The lenses offer the basis for recommendations that facilitate communication among the Committee and the Board of Commissioners to ensure the best and most impactful projects are selected from across the County.
The Lenses of Focus for Project Evaluation
Besides meeting basic eligibility criteria, priority will be placed on projects that satisfy these six "Lenses":
The project meets known specific eligibility requirements established by the Federal government.
The project is designed to address a known and demonstrated need.
The project addresses a needed change in societal opportunity and/ or eliminates disparities and gaps in opportunities for underserved and underrepresented populations.
The project would not otherwise materialize without a significant infusion of County SLFRF dollars.
The opportunity for the project to sustain itself long-term after the initial infusion of SLFRF dollars is legitimate.
The long-term, transformational impact of the project, including its return on investment based on verified outcome-based results, can be quantified.
Project Approval Process
Committee members have identified needs within their area of expertise and are assisting County officials with drafting funding options and priorities. To ensure projects funded by federal SLFRF dollars benefit all who live and work in Ottawa County, the Committee identified (beyond local government lost revenue, which is an eligible expense of ARPA funds) the following five categories, or “buckets”, of highlevel priorities:
Overseeing these categories will be who the Committee has coined “bucket managers” - individuals or organizations identified by the Committee (via a transparent Request For Proposals process) with experience or expertise in one or each of the prioritized “buckets”. County staff have been appointed as bucket managers for County Initiatives and Countywide Broadband categories. Qualified bucket managers for the other three categories will be selected from entities that best represent the interest of those categories. Here's a closer look at the process:
ARPA Distribution Timeline
Building a Funding Framework
This ARPA funding plan is still in its early stages. Watch for updates to this page as bucket managers are appointed and projects are announced. The County has until Dec. 31, 2024 to commit ARPA dollars, and Dec. 31, 2026 to spend the funds.
Federal Government Spending Requirements
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has issued a final rule to implement ARPA statutory provisions on eligible and ineligible uses of SLFRF funds. Eligible uses include replacing revenue lost to local governments because of the pandemic.
By exploring all eligible uses of funds and carefully fulfilling all requirements, the County will ensure all SLFRF dollars are used to support projects in the most financially responsible way possible.
Read More About Federal Requirements
- More Information