American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

On March 11, President Joseph R. Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), which established the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. ARPA provides funding for many programs and services nationwide. Included in the plan is $360 billion of one-time aid directly allocated to states, counties, and municipalities. 

The City of Morgantown is set to receive $11,243,509 in ARPA funds over the next two years. The city has received the first of two installments in the amount of $5,621,754.50. A second installment is anticipated in the same amount in the Spring/Summer of 2022. The city has until December 31, 2024, to obligate funds and December 31, 2026, to spend the funds.

View the City of Morgantown's ARPA Action Plan.

How and When Can ARPA Funds be Used?

The U.S. Treasury Department has limited the use of ARPA funds to the following areas:

  • To respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality; 
  • To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers; 
  • For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID–19 public health emergency relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency; and 
  • To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure. 

A full description of eligible uses can be found here.

The U.S. Treasury Department will distribute the funds in two equal allotments, one received in Spring/Summer 2021 and the second anticipated in Spring/Summer 2022.

The city is also considering the following factors when determining uses:

  • Community feedback
  • Ongoing guidance from the U.S. Treasury
  • Existing funding/programs

Community Engagement

The city wants to engage the residents, businesses, and community organizations on the use of ARPA funds. The funds that Morgantown will receive through ARPA will make a significant impact in our community, so it's crucial that we hear from you during the decision-making process. This helps ensure that the city aligns the use of the funds with the priorities of our residents.

The City of Morgantown gathered input from the community through an online survey and various public meetings. The survey was available from August 1-21, 2021. The public was also encouraged to submit written comments.

Residents, businesses, and community organizations are encouraged to participate in the planning process by one of the various means listed above. The city encourages the community to focus on recovery goals during the community engagement process. The intended outcome is to determine what are the goals that citizens would like to accomplish with this funding.

Important Dates

Related Documents

Project and Program Process

Listed below is the process that will be used by the city to assess the comments and input received during the community engagement period in order to develop a draft action plan. All submitted projects/programs will be compiled and published so the public can see what was submitted.

City staff reviewed approximately 4,000 comments from the online survey and the August 18 public meeting to develop a draft Action Plan, which was presented at the September 1 public meeting. Projects were scored using the following method:

  1. First, each project and program will be reviewed for eligibility for use of funds from ARPA. 
  2. Next, the team will group remaining projects and programs by common recovery goal. 
  3. Then, the project and programs will be reviewed for feasibility within the required timeframes, anticipated costs, scalability, and any potential red flags.
  4. Based on the above considerations, projects that are eligible for use of ARPA funds will be scored from 1 through 4. 
    1. The highest possible score is a four (4). These projects are quick to implement, have an immediate impact, and are very important. 
    2. Projects scoring a three (3) can be implemented relatively quickly, but the impact of these projects may take a little longer to feel. They are still very important projects. The projects scoring a 3 can be scaled depending on available funding.
    3. Projects scoring a two (2) may take longer to implement or have a less reaching impact than those scoring a 3 or 4. Projects can be easily scaled depending on availability of funds.
    4. The lowest score for a project/program that is eligible for ARPA funds is one (1). A project may be given a 1 if use of funds don’t appear initially feasible within the allotted timeframes, have less urgency than the other projects, or aren’t quite ready to implement. These projects may be more appropriate for the second installment of funds.
  5. Common themes and keywords were used to develop project ideas, which were then grouped by recovery goal and scored by city staff. This was used to develop the ARPA Action Plan.
  6. Any comments received during the second public meeting will be taken into consideration, the draft Action Plan updated/revised as necessary from the comments, and an updated ARPA Action Plan presented to City Council for approval.