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Last month, the Town Council solicited input from residents on how to spend funds allocated to the Town under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). ARPA established the Local Fiscal Recovery Fund to help municipalities control the spread of COVID-19, bridge budget shortfalls resulting from economic impacts of the pandemic, fund selected types of infrastructure, and lay a foundation for a strong, equitable economic recovery.
We thank all residents who shared ideas, opinions, and specific proposals for either using the funds or declining to use the funds. Councilmembers Ellen Cornelius Ericson and Joy White followed up with potential recipients of grants under ARPA, including Chevy Chase Elementary School, Wonders Childcare, and Chevy Chase @ Home, for more input on their needs for COVID-19 recovery. Other proposals dealing with stormwater management and green infrastructure were vetted with the Town’s municipal counsel to determine which proposed projects would be fundable under ARPA rules.
At its September 9 meeting, the Town Council discussed the distribution and use of ARPA funds. The Council agreed to retain the funds and discussed the process for determining how to allocate the funds. Councilmembers Ericson and White agreed to propose a process for short-term and long-term decisions on recipients of the funds. The Council also discussed a request for ARPA funds from Wonders Early Learning at Leland and agreed to schedule a discussion about this request at the October Council meeting.
Eligible Uses of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds
The Town Council asked our Town Attorney for guidance regarding legitimate uses of ARPA money, as set out in the Treasury regulations and commentary. The Council would like to share this memo with residents. We also hope this will be responsive to a request we received from a resident, who asked that such a memo be made available so that residents considering ideas for how these funds might be used would also be aware of what programs or projects might or might not be legitimate.