Preliminary information related to the recently passed Federal Relief Package was released on Friday, March 12, 2021. It was announced that the 936 million dollars would be shared among local governments in Pennsylvania with populations of less than 50,000. Newtown Township’s allocation of those funds is anticipated to be $1,936,231.
The Township should have ½ of the Township’s funds by June 9, 2021. The State will have it by May 10, 2021 and it has 30 days to distribute to municipalities. The second half will come before March 11, 2022.
*UPDATE: On June 29, 2021, Newtown Township received $1,024,920.93 from the American COVID Relief Fund. Until it is decided how the money will be spent, the funds will be placed in as special account. In 2022, it received additional funds. The total = $2,049,842 (see end of post on how this money is planned to be spent as of June 2022).
What Can It Be Used For?
This money is not to be used for daily operational costs, but rather one time funding opportunities focusing on capacity building, and infrastructure. The spending window is from 2020 through the end of 2024. The funding may not be used to deposit into pension funds, or to offset revenue resulting from a tax cut through the performance window through December 31, 2024.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, May 10, 2021, the U.S. Treasury released an interim final rule for the American Rescue Plan. Download a fact sheet on the 151 page regulation, which provides guidance about eligible uses of the funds.
The Township can spend these funds on:
- Response to COVID-19 emergency or negative economic impacts. This includes, but is not limited to, assistance for households, small businesses, non-profits (including volunteer fire companies whose fundraising may have taken a hit during COVID-19), and aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality.
- Premium pay for essential workers. Can pay a bonus to workers. Up to $25K each. Could be paid in a lump sum as long as you don’t violate $13/hour rule. Public and private employees. “Essential workers only”. Backpay is most likely ok. Fire Company block grants, police - ok.
- Lost revenue replacement. The revenue deficit must be as a direct result of COVID-19, and could apply from 2020 through 2024. 2019 is used as the “base year” with which to compare revenues. Applies to tax revenue, liquid fuels, etc.
- Infrastructure investment. Drinking water, storm water, sewer, broadband hot spots, but you can’t spend it on roads and bridges. Roads and bridges may come in the fall.
- Can use for construction for larger meeting space or technology for remote meetings.
- If Township-owned parks were impacted due to COVID-19 (more use), you could use to repair/maintain them.
- If you can link the proposed use to an impact caused by COVID-19, then it is most likely a permissible use.
Federal regulations (and maybe State regulations) will initially be issued prior to funds being distributed, but those regs could be modified or refined at any time in the next 3+ years. I'm sure there will be a long line of requests for these funds!
UPDATE (6/25/2022): The Township has received $2,049,842 pursuant to the American Rescue Plan/Act (ARP/ARPA). Expenditures Approved as of June 8, 2022:
- $550,000 Lower Dolington Trail
- $215,000 (3) Police Vehicles
- $188,524 6-Wheel Dump Truck
Remaining Balance: $1,096,318
Posted on 24 Apr 2021, 01:20 - Category: Finances