116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Linn County supervisors on Wednesday approved initial guidelines on how local entities can apply for American Rescue Plan Act pandemic funding, with more details to come soon.
The supervisors, following county staff recommendations, agreed to distribute around $11 million in the “first round” of funding.
The county will receive $44 million in ARPA funding. It’s received half of that to date, with the remainder coming next year. The city of Cedar Rapids is receiving $28 million in ARPA funds.
The deadline to spend the money is Dec. 31, 2026.
Entities eligible to apply for ARPA funding include nonprofits, businesses, schools, and city and county departments.
Supervisor Stacey Walker said the collaboration between the county and the city on the federal funding has been impressive.
“These questions about collaboration have been ongoing, and it’s my hope that at some point in time, the narrative will shift to recognize the work we’ve done together,” Walker said. “Our staffs work together seamlessly to create the end product.”
Darrin Gage, the county’s director of policy and administration, said the county and city will hold a joint news conference on ARPA funding, perhaps next week, when more details will be provided about the distribution and application process.
The committee that is navigating the ARPA process, he said, is continuing a county needs assessment that included multiple public forums this summer and public surveys.
The surveys asked residents to rank their preference for funding in ARPA funding categories; COVID-19 public health emergency; COVID-19 negative economic impacts; and water, sewer and broadband subcategories.
The first round of county funding focus on public health, negative economic impacts and water/sewer infrastructure. Each category will see around $5.5 million in funding, though “we may need to spend $6.5 million in public health instead of $5.5 million,” Walker said.
Gage said public health examples could include vaccination testing and contact tracing, prevention in congregate settings, personal protective equipment, investment in facilities that respond to COVID-19, mental health services, and substance abuse.
Negative economic impact examples include food programs, rent, mortgage and eviction assistance, housing supports, education assistance, child care, job training assistance, aid to nonprofits and aid to travel, tourism, hospitality and other industries impacted by COVID-19.
Lastly, water and sewer examples include drinking water treatment and storm sewer infrastructure.
“This is where we would assume our cities would apply for funding,” Gage said.
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