The Greene County ARPA team has made recommendations to the Greene County Commission on how to allocate $56.9 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds.
There are 66 eligible categories in the American Rescue Plan Act legislation, which strongly suggests that municipalities consider and incorporate equity focus to ensure underrepresented and underserved community pockets receive eligible funding.
Here’s the list of data and reports the team reviewed to provide the latest information on the impact of COVID-19 on Greene County residents, as included in a news release from the Greene County Commission.
Preliminary 2020 U.S. Census data
Greene County ARPA community survey
Forward SGF plan
City of Springfield’s ARPA community survey
Community’s Diverse Young Professionals survey report
Community Focus Report 2021
Springfield Inclusiveness survey
Emergency Rental Assistance program
Greene County ARPA nonprofit listening sessions
Greene County Needs Assessment Equity Plan
The ARPA team compiled a 95-page report after an extensive review of the data. The report has detailed analysis of every section listed. For a complete breakdown, please read the entire report available at www.greenecountymov.gov.
In summary, the ARPA team proposed 12 categories of priority needs to reflect the input from the public. The team recommended the first funding phase be divided into three broad categories: Community, Collaboration, and County.
- Mental Health Services
- Affordable Housing
- Services for Unhoused Persons
- Small Business Economic Assistance
- Assistance to Nonprofit Organizations
- Household Food Programs
- Childcare and Services to Foster Youth
- Water and Sewer
- Substance Use Services
- Aid to Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Industry
- Education Assistance to Early Learning
The Community category prioritizes and responds to the requests of nonprofit organizations and small businesses. The Collaboration category would be set aside for collaborative projects between the county, city, and/or state. The County category would be utilized for the requests of county officeholders and possible county facility and operational needs.
Vaccination was omitted from the final list due to vaccination being readily available through the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
An application process will be used to award the funds. The ARPA team will use the top priorities as the primary way to rank and recommend grants. Diversity and inclusion are being addressed through an overall equity plan consistent with U.S. Treasury recommendations.
After the release of the Greene County ARPA community survey, the Commissioners read every public response, including input from citizens that live outside of Springfield. They will now use the Needs Assessment Report, along with recommendations from community volunteers, to implement funding priorities.
Greene County has already received $28.4 million in funding. The remainder of ARPA funds will arrive in 2022. Commissioners have until 2024 to allocate or commit all funds and an additional two years to spend the funds.