by Jim Boyle
Elk River’s share of the American Rescue Plan Act adopted by Congress in March 2021 will be $2.6 million.
This funding will be passed through the state of Minnesota; it has opened the portal to request the Rescue Plan funds that will be received in two installments: 50% to be paid in 2021 and the remaining 50% to be paid in 2022.
City Administrator Cal Portner said during the July 6 Elk River City Council meeting council members will take up the discussion of what to use the money for in a future work session to create priority list.
“We have some ideas to review what we believe we can and cannot do and justify,” Portner told the council.
The use of these funds must be decided by Dec. 31, 2024, and spent by the end of 2026.
Generally speaking, eligible uses include:
• Responding to the public health emergency.
• Addressing negative economic impacts.
• Revenue replacement.
• Investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.
The council on Tuesday approved a resolution to accept the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund established under the American Rescue Plan Act.
The resolution noted since the first case of COVID-19 was discovered in the United States in January 2020, the disease has infected over 32 million and killed over 575,000 Americans during the pandemic.
The disease has impacted every part of life: As social distancing became a necessity, businesses closed, schools transitioned to remote education, travel was sharply reduced and millions of Americans lost their jobs, the resolution said.
City revenues, businesses and nonprofits in the city have faced economic impacts due to the pandemic. As a result of the pandemic cities have been called on to respond to the needs of their communities through the prevention, treatment and vaccination against COVID-19.
Congress adopted in March 2021 the American Rescue Plan Act, which included $65 billion in recovery funds for cities across the country.
Rescue Plan funds are intended to provide support to state, local and tribal governments in responding to the impact of COVID-19 and in their efforts to contain COVID-19.
City staff, together with the mayor and the city attorney are authorized to take any actions necessary to receive the city’s share of Rescue Plan funds from the state of Minnesota for expenses incurred because of the pandemic.