Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be challenging for much of the world. As new executive orders popped up, many of us found ourselves changing our routine. Despite facing this hardship, City of Niles residents proved to be resilient in the face of adversity. The American Rescue Plan Act is set to help alleviate some of the burden brought about by the pandemic.
The ARP Act, recently signed into law by President Biden, is set to directly benefit the City of Niles and its residents. The nearly $7 million in funds will ensure our community can host, support, and accelerate a robust recovery for all of our residents. These funds will help our community survive today, and thrive tomorrow. We will work with our residents and businesses to ensure that the entire community benefits long into the future.
Though we will not have official usage guidelines from the U.S. Treasury for a few weeks, we do have until 2024 to spend these dollars. That being said, we do know the statutory language specifically authorizes these uses for the funds:
- To respond to the pandemic or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality;
- For premium pay to eligible workers performing essential work (as determined by each recipient government) during the pandemic, providing up to $13 per hour above regular wages;
- For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the pandemic (relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency);
- To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure
The statute also prohibits the funds from being used to offset tax cuts made since March 3, 2021 and prohibits state and local bodies from depositing the funds into a pension fund.
When the city receives confirmation on the amount of ARP funds allocated to the City of Niles and guidance on permitted uses, we will engage citizens to develop a plan that benefits all for decades to come. Additional information can be found on the National League of Cities website. Stabilizing Local Government Operations - National League of Cities (nlc.org)
To read the full press release, click here.