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CL-2554 New Business   Item #: E.       
Meeting Date: 06/01/2021  
Subject:    American Rescue Funds
From: Cynthia Thomasson

COUNCIL ACTION
First Reading:      06/01/2021                                                  
Final Adoption: 06/15/2021
SUMMARY
The US Department of Treasury approved the American Recovery Plan and has awarded Danville $29,142,851 to be paid in two equal installments. The first payment will be received in May 2021, and the second is to be received no sooner than 12 months after the first payment. The Treasury Department provided some general guidance on allowable and non-allowable uses for the funds, and will provide more specific guidance in the near future. The goal of the funds is to help localities respond to the immediate health impacts of the pandemic and to help residents and businesses quickly recover from the economic impact caused by COVID-19.
BACKGROUND
The American Recovery Plan (ARP) is similar to last year's CARES Act. The goal of the funding is to help people and businesses impacted by COVID-19. The ARP provides for somewhat more flexibility for local governments to use funds, which must be used by December 31, 2024.

A summary of the proposed uses of the funds are as follows:
  • Support urgent COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease the spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control.
  • Replace lost public sector revenue to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs.
  • Support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses.
  • Address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the unequal impact of the pandemic on certain populations.
For CARES Act and similar pandemic response funds received by the City of Danville, City Departments and outside agencies made requests to the City Manager and Finance Director for potential uses of the funds. These, generally, fit into four broad categories: monetary assistance for residents, grants for businesses, marketing and materials to educate and support people to better protect themselves from infection, and projects that supported a healthy and safe work environment for City employees. Specific examples of uses were:
  • Grants for residents and businesses with utility payments
  • Grants for residents and businesses with rent and mortgage payments
  • Grants for businesses to pay for projects that helped them remain in business during the pandemic
  • Technology upgrades for remote work and remote meetings for City government
  • Emergency radio system upgrades
  • Grants to help respond to food insecurity
  • Laptop computers for Danville Community College students to help with remote learning
  • Grants for childcare for essential workers
  • Assistance with vaccine deployment initiatives
  • Equipment for first responders
The Finance Director and City Manager evaluated each of the requests to make sure that the purpose was allowed by the Act and that the project met the need to immediately and effectively respond to the impacts of the pandemic.

The intention for ARP funds is to follow the same practice with an emphasis on funding allowable projects that enable the community to quickly recover from the economic impact of the pandemic. Staff will provide periodic detailed updates on the use of funds.
RECOMMENDATION
It is recommended that City Council adopt the attached ordinance anticipating receipt of funds from the US Treasury for the American Recovery Plan and appropriating said funds to be used for projects and purposes that meet the requirements of the legislation.

Attachments
Ordinance


    

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