American Rescue Plan
The American Rescue Plan Act (commonly referred to as ARPA or ARP) is the $1.9 trillion act signed into law on March 11, 2021, by the President.
The Act contained direct relief to citizens including the $1,400 stimulus checks and $350 billion for eligible state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to mitigate the fiscal effects stemming from the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The City of Waco will receive $34.7 million in funding in two payments. The first, totaling $17.4 million, was received in June 2021, and the second expected in June 2022. Funds are available through December 31, 2024.
Eligible Uses of the Funds
The Act provided for broad usage of the funds within four separate categories as follows:
- To respond to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) or its negative economic impacts which includes 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 that are performing such essential work, or by providing grants to eligible employers that have eligible workers who perform essential work.
- For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue of the City due to the COVID-19 public health emergency relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year (October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2019) of the City prior to the emergency.
- To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.
City of Waco Priorities
Taking into account the City’s Vision, Mission, Values and the Mayor and City Council’s strategic goals, the City may use the funds on:
- Enhancing the Quality of Life by Creating a Culture of Equity and Inclusion by utilizing the funds to mitigate the negative economic impacts of the public health emergency through targeted community service programs including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits.
- Improvements to Infrastructure for Water, Wastewater, Stormwater or Broadband services that will help Support Sustainability.
- Building a High Performing Government through restoration of revenues reduced due to the COVID-19 public health emergency to Provide a Safe and Resilient City.
The City of Waco intends to use $15 million of the $34.7 million for municipal purposes including improvements to infrastructure for Water, Wastewater, and WMARSS as well as for other infrastructure resiliency and backup projects. In addition, municipal purposes include revenue recovery due to loss revenue the City experienced because of the pandemic for the provision of governmental services. The funding will also be used for the continued response to the pandemic.
$17 million of the funding will be used to provide direct assistance to households and businesses of the City of Waco.
Lastly, the final $2 million in funding will be set aside as a contingency/reserve fund to provide flexibility over the period the funds are available to most appropriately respond to the changing economic and public health environment brought on by the pandemic.
On Tuesday, October 19, 2021, the City Council approved Resolution 2021-763(PDF, 3MB). This resolution adopted the proposed funding plan and usage of the American Rescue Plan funds.
October 19, 2021 Funding Plan Presentation(PDF, 580KB)
On February 1, 2022, following the issuance of the United States Department of Treasury Final Rule guiding the usage of State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, the City Council adopted Resolution 2022-056(PDF, 521KB) updating the funding plan to align with Final Rule and the American Rescue Plan Act categories. The funding within the plan was not changed or updated by this action. In addition, as part of the resolution the City Council adopted the $10,000,000.00 standard allowance to replace lost public sector revenue to be spent on government services.
On September 20, 2022, the City Council adopted Resolution 2022-689(PDF, 407KB) updating the funding plan of the City to provide additional funding for New Affordable Housing, a grants program for small businesses, down payment assistance and for the development of a STEAM Center. Funding was reallocated from contingency, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District response, and Utility generators to allow for these investments in the community and its small businesses.
On March 21, 2023, the City Council adopted Resolution 2023-181(PDF, 494KB) (link to attached resolution) updating the funding plan of the City shift funding from the Responding to Public Health and Economic Impacts of COVID-19 category to the Replacing Lost Public Sector Revenue category for the New Affordable Housing project totaling $334,244. The overall funding for New Affordable Housing did not decrease as a result of this shift and remains at $6,061,000.
If you would like to provide any additional feedback, please email the Office of Management and Budget at BudgetOffice@wacotx.gov.