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Fiscal Services

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.

Ottawa County has received $57 million in SLFRL funding

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
    Holly Cole
    Vice President of Grants & Programs, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation
    Mike Goorhouse
    President/CEO, Community Foundation Holland/Zeeland Area
    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
    Robyn Afrik
    Director, Diversity Equity & Inclusion
    John Shay
    Interim County Administrator
    Paul Sachs
    Director, Department of Strategic Impact

    ** Mark Bennett, Supervisor, Tallmadge Township, serves as alternate

  • Criteria

    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:

    ARPA Funding Prioritization Buckets

    Bucket Managers

    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:

    Project Selection and Funds Distribution 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

    Important dates
  • More Information

    For more information on the COVID-19 American Rescue Plan Act Advisory Committee and the funds allotment and distribution process, email or call 616-738-4852.

    For more information on State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, click here.