American Rescue Plan Act
President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) on March 11, 2021. Olmsted County received about $31 million in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to promote recovery and provide greater community resilience. The funds offer resources to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery. The first allocation was distributed in May 2021 and the second in May 2022. These ARPA funds must be spent before December 2026.
Olmsted County is prioritizing ARPA funds from March 3, 2021 through December 31, 2024 to:
- Support or mitigate public health response or its negative economic impact.
- Provide government services to replace revenue loss.
- Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.
- Provide premium pay for essential workers.
Investments in housing/homelessness needs
- The most significant use of the funds, totaling $16.1 million, will provide unprecedented support for affordable housing infrastructure and programs in Olmsted County.
- $10 million for a five-year investment in affordable housing to create and preserve more than 1,100 affordable housing units in Olmsted County and leverage an investment of more than $200 million.
- A $5 million investment to create affordable homeownership opportunities through the Growing Affordable, Inclusive Neighborhoods (GAIN) program.
- Purchase of the building at 105 Broadway Avenue N. in Rochester to continue providing transitional housing to homeless individuals for $1 million.
- Repairs to the Rochester Community Warming Center totaling $100,000.
Investments in mental health and truancy support
- Expanded mental health support and truancy prevention in elementary schools in the amount of $300,000. An additional $265,000 investment will continue mental health support and truancy prevention in secondary schools.
- A two-year investment of $232,500 for mental health stabilization through county employees.
- Expanded therapy services provided by Family Service Rochester for adolescents totaling $125,000.
- A trained social worker liaison from the county to work with all the school districts in Olmsted County for truancy prevention for $120,000.
Investments in our built and natural environments
- An initiative focused on groundwater protection and soil health totaling $3 million.
- Funding of $1.2 million to complete the new nature center at Oxbow Park.
- Chester Heights Sewer District funding of $500,000 for key upgrades and improvements.
- Fixing failing sewer systems serving manufactured home communities. Olmsted County will provide up to $420,000 toward improving infrastructure for Zumbro Ridge.
Investments in other priorities to address effects of COVID-19
- Technology projects within Health, Housing, and Human Services at the county that will support interoperability, automation, conversion of paper to electronic processes, and access to data and ease of use for clients. These projects total $1 million.
- A $500,000 investment toward the Child Care Benefit Cliff project to support clients working to get off of public benefits and out of poverty.
- Provisional staffing for the County Attorney’s Office totaling $500,000 to assist with the backlog of court cases in the system.
- A proposal from Workforce Development, Inc. to support developing pathways to careers in local government totaling $420,000.
- Additional hours totaling $120,000 for school nurses to prepare for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year after being deployed to the pandemic for 18 months.
Funding for future projects
The Olmsted County Board of Commissioners has $5.8 million of ARPA funding available for future projects. The total funds must be allocated by December 31, 2024 and all projects must be completed by December 31, 2026.
Olmsted County ARPA news articles