American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

In December 2021, the Town Manager's prioritized list of projects for ARPA funding was presented to the Select Board. The following December 2022, the Town Manager brought a revised ARPA plan back to the Select Board for review, discussion and ultimately a vote. On January 3, 2023, the Select Board adopted the following ARPA spending plan: 


ARPA Projects Approved November 2023

Department Project Amount
DPW - Facilities LHS Air Handler Replacement $390,000
DPW - Facilities Center, Blueberry and Wolf Swamp Elementary Schools Playground Replacements $600,000
DPW - Facilities Greenwood Center Conversion to Municipal Offices $1,465,172
DPW - Facilities Police Station Air Quality Assessment and Duct Work Cleaning $8.885
DPW - Facilities Painting - school and town facilities $150,000
Fire Department Vehicle Exhaust Removal System Upgrades $10,408
Fire Department Medical Equipment Video Scopes $9,318
Fire Department Cardiac Monitors $75,315
Fire Department Light Tower $60,624
Fire Department Emergency Management Volunteer Coordinator $15,000
Health Department COVID related matters and Shelter Equipment $28,410
Planning & Community Development Cooley Brook Interventions $17,000
DPW - Engineering Resilient Stormwater Master Plan $200,000
DPW - Engineering Stormwater Infrastructure Earmark (catch basin repair/replacement) $1,000,000
DPW - Grounds Wolf Swamp Fields Bleachers $20,089
DPW - Trees Town-Wide Hazard Tree Mitigation $300,000
Town-Wide Electronic Voting Devices for Town Meeting $27,594
Town-Wide Essential Pay $179,911
Town-Wide Essential Pay - Retirees $29,525
Town-Wide  IT Earmark (mobile app, Zencity, Town Meeting TVs and digial mixer, broadband study) $100,000
William Goldthwaith Fund Assistance to Applicants of the William Goldthwaith Fund $35,000
Total   $4,693,840

BACKGROUND 

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Pub. L. No. 117-2 (March 11, 2021) (ARPA), provides direct aid to local governments in response to the public health emergency caused by the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) through the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CLFRF). This fund is administered by the US Department of the Treasury (Treasury).

OVERVIEW

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

a) 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;

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

c) 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

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

The Town of Longmeadow is expected to receive $4,694,332 from the State’s allocation of ARPA funding. The total is broken down as follows: $1,643,820 non-entitlement community allocation; $3,050,512 non-functional county redistribution amount. The Town has received $821,910 of the non-entitlement community allocation and is awaiting details on the non-functional county allocation. Funds are to cover expenses incurred between March 3, 2021 and ending December 31, 2026.  

TOWN ARPA PROGRAM REQUEST INFORMATION - September 2021

With these parameters in mind, the Town seeks to create an ARPA spending plan which helps to minimize the Town’s budget shortfall exacerbated by the pandemic, utilize funds to mitigate the spread of the disease, support programs for the community and businesses, and leverage resources in combination with other available grants to update the Town’s infrastructure. Program requests are broken down into two categories, 1) departmental requests and 2) board and committee requests. A request for use of funds to provide essential pay has already been received by two Town unions. The essential pay request will be reviewed in the assessment and ranking process identified below. 

  • Departmental Requests

Departments may request projects that meet ARPA eligibility requirements by completing the attached application and submitting it to the Town Manager’s Office. Departments are responsible for developing and managing each request, along with maintaining the necessary documentation. Reporting for ARPA expenditures will be coordinated with the Financial Management Department. 

  • Boards and Committees

Boards and Committees may request projects that meet ARPA eligibility requirements by completing the attached application and submitting it to the Town Manager’s Office.  Boards and Committees are responsible for developing and managing each request, along with maintaining the necessary documentation. Reporting for ARPA expenditures will be coordinated with the Financial Management Department. 

APPLICATION PROCESS AND TIMELINES

Using the attached application, departments and/or boards and committees will thoroughly complete the application and send it via email to townmanager@longmeadow.org. The initial application deadline to submit program requests is October 22, 2021. The Town Manager along with the Finance Director, will then assess and rank each application submitted. The assessment will look at ARPA funding eligibility and take into consideration overall town operation, maintenance and goals. The review and assessment process is expected to take approximately two weeks. Upon completion of assessment and ranking, a prioritization list will be developed and program submitters will be notified. The Town Manager will then present the prioritization list to the Select Board for review and confirmation. 

Project approval may be phased to ensure project commencement, monitoring and reporting is manageable with existing staff workload and/or anticipating supplemental grant opportunities. 

The Town must ensure each program conforms to ARPA funding eligibility, purchasing regulations, and reporting requirements. All funds must be spent by December 31, 2026, in accordance with U.S. Treasury guidelines. Given the need to report financials and status updates on each program, departments will work with the Finance Department to provide a detailed budget for how the funds will be used, document expenditures, and track metrics for service delivery (if applicable). 

There may be additional application rounds, including a possible rolling application review depending on the number of projects submitted and available funds. Grant programs may also be expanded in future rounds to non-municipal agencies and businesses.

HELPFUL LINKS ON USE OF FUNDS

To help aid you in program/project development the Treasury has put out a Frequently Asked Questions document that can be found here: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/SLFRPFAQ.pdf 

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments with a substantial infusion of resources to meet pandemic response needs and rebuild a stronger, and more equitable economy as the country recovers. Recipients may use these funds to:

  • Support public health expenditures, by, for example, funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, and certain public health and safety staff
  • Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries, and the public sector
  • Replace lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors
  • Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and to expand access to broadband internet

Within these overall categories, recipients have broad flexibility to decide how best to use this funding to meet the needs of their communities.