The Providence Rescue Plan is a combination of city and county funds totaling $166 million. Funds will be allocated within the next three years. The City allocated the first round of funding totaling $43 million on July 16, 2021.
The first round of American Rescue Plan funding was allocated through a multi-step process. After federal funds were announced, city department directors were surveyed and drafted proposals for high-impact projects. The Mayor’s Office and City Council also reviewed timely needs in the city, with a specific focus on violence prevention, and put together a list of high-priority work. All of the projects were reviewed at two public meetings, a finance committee meeting and an open meeting as part of the City Council budget hearing process. The culmination of that work was an ordinance passed by the City Council and signed into law by Mayor Elorza allocating American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to transformative city programming for the budget period of April 29, 2021 through September 20, 2021.
Further funding allocations will be passed by the Providence City Council and signed by the Mayor after receiving recommendations from the City of Providence Resiliency and Recovery Task Force. This task force is made up of community leaders and public officials who are commit ted to community engagement.
The task force’s first round of recommendations is due in October 2021. Their second round of recommendations is scheduled for April 2022, ahead of the distribution of the remaining funds from the American Rescue Plan in May 2022.In public meetings, they will:
Funds will be made available through programs that can be accessed through this website.
President Biden’s Rescue Plan
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 into law to bring direct and immediate relief to families and workers. The act provides $350 billion in funding to states, counties, municipalities and other governmental units across the country. These funds-Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF)- are to be used by state and local governments to address the devastating public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These funds are distributed in two parts, the first part was delivered in May of 2021, and the second part is expected to be delivered in May of 2022.
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U.S. Treasury Department Guidelines
The State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds section of the American Rescue Plan specifies what funding can and cannot be used for. The purpose of distributing these funds is to address the specific economic and public health crises triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Treasury Department website states that the funds may be used 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.
There are stipulations in the plan that lay out what the funds may NOT be used for, which are tax cuts, deposits to pension funds, funding debt services, legal settlements or judgements, non-sewer, water, or broadband based infrastructure projects, and/or deposits to rainy day or financial reserves.