In March of 2021, Congress passed a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill, which was then signed by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021. On May 10, the U.S. Department of the Treasury launched the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Program authorized pursuant to the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”).
ARPA will bring new funding to our state and county that will go to assisting the recovery of our region. The state of Colorado is expected to receive $3.8 billion, while El Paso County is expected to receive $139,929,837 million, based on our population. Other counties and cities across the state will also receive funding through ARPA to use on a variety of causes and programs, including:
- Vaccination programs
- Contract tracing
- Purchasing of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Capital investments in public facilities to address existing operational concerns.
Eligible businesses and non-profits can use ARPA funds to:
- Provide loans or grants to mitigate financial hardship including declines in revenue, payroll, rent, or other costs related to retaining employees, including providing funds to offer additional payments to essential works.
- Local governments and municipalities are permitted to use funds to:
- Make necessary investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, including wastewater-owned treatment works and develop water reuse projects.
There is much more to learn about ARPA and El Paso County is currently examining how best to allocate this funding to best benefit our region and residents.
To find out more about ARPA on a national level, please visit the U.S. Department of Treasury website. For more information on how ARPA funds will be used locally here in El Paso County, please take a look at the preliminary budget documents linked below.