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Posted on: July 27, 2021

City Seeks Public Feedback on Using ARPA Funds

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The City of Portland’s Finance Committee received a presentation from Finance Director Brendan T. O’Connell regarding the use of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that Portland is receiving during its July 22, 2021 meeting. The City is receiving $46,290,625 in recovery funds to replace lost revenues and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The payment is split in two tranches, with the first payment of $23,145,326 received in May 2021 and the second payment of an equal amount scheduled to arrive no sooner than May 2022. The City Council approved the use of $8.5 million as part of the FY22 municipal budget, leaving $14.6 million left to allocate from the first tranche. ARPA funds must be obligated no later than December 31, 2024. Funds must be spent no later than December 31, 2026.

As part of the public process, the City Council will review suggestions for the use of these funds from City staff as well as the public. Residents and interested parties who would like to share feedback on how the funds are used should visit portland.civilspace.io to review the project details and complete a short survey.  

“I look forward to working with the community, City staff, and my colleagues on the Council to determine the best use of funds in this first tranche,” said Mayor Kate Snyder. “ARPA funds offer a wonderful opportunity to invest in community needs created by the pandemic, and to consider generational investments in public infrastructure.”

“I’m thankful the City was able to receive these funds as it will greatly allow us to recover and grow from the impacts created by the pandemic,” said City Councilor Nick Mavodones, Chair of the Finance Committee. “As the Mayor said, I look forward to working with all interested parties to gather ideas within the eligible uses for how these funds are invested in our community as we have the opportunity to make significant investments in our future.” 

As a reminder, the funds have statutory eligible uses. They include the following categories: 

  1. To respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts;
  2. To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to such eligible workers of the recipient, or by providing grants to eligible employers that have eligible workers who performed essential work;
  3. For the provision of government services, to the extent of the reduction in revenue of such recipient due to the COVID–19 public health emergency, relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year of the recipient prior to the emergency; and
  4. To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.

Funds can generally not be used for:

  • Depositing extraordinary funds into a pension account
  • Certain non-federal matches
  • Debt Service
  • Legal Settlements
  • Rainy Day Funds
  • Infrastructure outside of water/sewer/broadband, or revenue loss to infrastructure projects
  • General economic development or workforce development unless related to the pandemic

The City Council will also host a community workshop to accept additional public feedback on the use of these funds on September 13, 2021.

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