Traverse City News and Events

Grand Traverse County Opens Application Window For ARPA Funding Requests

By Craig Manning | Sept. 3, 2022

Grand Traverse County has officially opened the application window for community American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) requests.

Starting yesterday (September 2), local organizations interested in seeking some of the county’s allotted $18.2 million in ARPA funding can formally apply via an application available on the Grand Traverse County website. The application window will stay open for 60 days, giving ARPA funding hopefuls until Halloween (Monday, October 31) to submit their funding requests.

ARPA funds must be spent in one of five categories: “COVID-19 response,” “Economic impacts of COVID,” “Replacing revenue losses from the pandemic,” “Premium pay for eligible workers during the pandemic,” or “Water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.” ARPA money cannot be used to reduce a millage, pay down pension debt, or pay off legal settlements or judgments, nor can it be “placed into reserves or a rainy day fund.” The $18.2 million that Grand Traverse County has received from the federal government must be obligated to specific purposes by December 31, 2024, and must be spent by December 31, 2026.

To identify priorities for ARPA spending, the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners formed an ARPA advisory committee, made up of “members of the community representing key sectors of our region.” During a preliminary application process intended to gauge local interest in ARPA money, the board of commissioners and the advisory committee received 47 applications from 21 local organizations. As previously reported by The Ticker, those applications included fund requests “for parks and water/sewer projects in multiple townships, the expansion of the West YMCA, emergency services equipment upgrades, expansion of Spectrum fiber internet countywide, and workforce and supportive housing construction, among others.”

The 60-day formal application window is the next step in the ARPA funding process. Once the application process closes, the county’s ARPA advisory committee will review the applications and make recommendations to the board of commissioners on which projects to support. The board will then be responsible for deciding which projects receive partial support, full support, or no support.

Commissioners will also need to decide how much of the $18.2 million will be spent on external community projects versus internal county projects. Based on ARPA rules, Grand Traverse County can take as little as $2.3 million of the money for internal use and as much as $10 million.

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