The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law by the Biden Administration in 2021. This legislation is meant to address the negative economic and health effects that were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here at Community Solutions, we have shared our policy asks related to ARPA and what we hope these funds will be used for. Advocates for Ohio’s Future (AOF) has also tracked allocations, writing about ARPA expenditures. The Ohio Poverty Law Center and AOF have also released an ARPA tracker that follows allocations for ARPA’s state fiscal recovery (SFR) and local fiscal recovery (LFR). What is new in the ARPA landscape for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County? In this blog, analysis on local fiscal recovery (LFR) funds will be targeted to assess what changes have occurred.
What is new in the ARPA landscape for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County?
In early April, Mayor Justin Bibb released one of the largest plans for ARPA spending. The investments for this round of spending focus on Mayor Bibb’s Rescue and Recovery Strategy priority areas. Some allocations include violence prevention, infrastructure support, and job creation. Bibb’s plan will focus ARPA funds on long-term expenditures, with the lifespan of each investment lasting over 10 years. Plans in the proposal include establishing a $50 million fund for land assembly, establishing a neighborhood safety fund ($10 million), and neighborhood investment ($35 million).
The Bibb Administration has also been releasing monthly reports on ARPA spending, dating back to July of 2022. The most recent ARPA report, compiled in February, has a chart of all proposals that have received funding, proposal requests, and proposed next steps. At the time, all proposals except for the Minority Business Credit Enhancement Fund had passed. Currently, the Minority Business Credit Enhancement Fund is calling for proposals.
Cuyahoga County Funding
In March, the Cuyahoga County Council announced that it would be spending $2.3 million dollars of ARPA funds to bolster recreation and infrastructure. Other ARPA funded projects include $250,000 to Chagrin Falls to improve wastewater treatment facilities, and funding for Solon to improve their community park. Out of the allocated funds for Cuyahoga County, only 36% of funds are remaining ($86 million). Below is a list of funding so far allocated in Cuyahoga County.
Notable LFR funds for ARPA have been allocated to City Budget Stabilization ($108 million), Broadband Access ($20 million), and support for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank ($5 million). Attached below is information regarding the total dollars spent, and the percentage remaining.
As you can see, a majority of ARPA dollars have already been spent, with only 36% ($183 million) of funds remaining. As the remaining funds for ARPA are spent and allocated, community members should be provided with civic opportunities to voice their concerns and share input. This is especially important because these funds are meant to work to support pandemic recovery, and aid Ohioans that have had their lives impacted by COVID.