Community Message: Milwaukee County Residents Invited to Share Ideas for Allocating Federal Funds Via New Website

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The Milwaukee County American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Task Force invites the public to share their ideas on how to allocate the federal funds that Milwaukee County will receive under ARPA.

“Milwaukee County: We want to hear from you,” said Shawn Rolland, co-chair of the ARPA task force, a Milwaukee County supervisor representing District 6. “We can’t do our best while we haven’t heard from our neighbors. “

Residents of Milwaukee County can provide feedback online at Milwaukee.gov/ARPA.taskforce. The site allows users to rank their spending choices from an established list of services and share their own unique project proposals. Those submitting proposals are encouraged to verify that their project meets federal spending guidelines, provide metrics to measure the success of the proposal, provide a cost estimate, and explain how the proposal advances the mission of the project. racial equity of the county.

How the funds can be used

US Department of the Treasury guidelines regarding the permitted uses of APRA recovery funds include:

  • support the public health response to COVID-19
  • fight against the negative economic impacts created by the pandemic
  • serving the communities and families hardest hit by the virus and the economic downturn
  • provide a bonus for essential workers
  • invest in water, sewage and broadband infrastructure, and
  • replace lost income. Milwaukee County has lost an estimated $ 300-400 million in revenue due to the pandemic.

Milwaukee County will receive approximately $ 183.6 million in ARPA funding. So far, the working group recommends that:

  • 63% of ARPA dollars ($ 115,728,599) will be allocated to “recovery of lost income”. Examples of expenses could include stabilize government services; dealing with the backlog of county capital projects and deferred maintenance; invest in technology, service delivery or facilities to achieve savings or efficiency gains; and invest in new income-generating strategies.
  • 20% of ARPA dollars ($ 36,739,238) will be allocated to “community support”. Examples of expenses could include immediate and time-limited financial assistance for individuals; evidence-based strategies to address targeted social determinants of health; and collaborative initiatives that match other private and public funds.
  • 13% of ARPA dollars ($ 23,880,505) will be allocated to “COVID-19 mitigation”. Examples of expenses could include meet COVID-19 mitigation needs (administration of vaccinations, PPE, tests, physical distancing measures); culturally relevant and effective communications planning to support COVID mitigation; prevention of spread in assembly places and other dense work sites; and salary expenses for public health, security and other responders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 4% of ARPA dollars ($ 7,347,848) are allocated to “fund administration”. Examples of expenses could include comply with fiscal, programmatic and federal reporting requirements; sponsor project-level evaluation and community engagement contracts; and establish data collection processes.

“These federal funds will not solve the extreme tax challenges Milwaukee County faces, but I always urge neighbors to think big, share your great ideas, and help us make strong recommendations that our community will believe in,” said Supervisor Rolland.

Next steps to engage the community’s contribution

The ARPA task force plans to solicit and gather ideas throughout the fall, then assess feedback and debate the proposals before making an initial recommendation to Milwaukee County Council in the spring. The ARPA task force plans to host a series of community education meetings and public events this fall. More information on these events will be shared when details are finalized. The next Milwaukee County ARPA Task Force meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 18, 2021 at 11 a.m. Anyone wishing to speak to working group members in their virtual meetings is invited to provide live public comment by visiting: milwaukee.gov/PublicCommentAdHoc and following the instructions provided.

About the Milwaukee County ARPA Task Force

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 was enacted by President Joseph R. Biden on March 11, 2021, to provide support to individuals, families and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 13, 2021, County Executive David Crowley signed the “ARPA Task Force” resolution sponsored by President Marcelia Nicholson. The resolution established the task force and called on its members to engage the community, especially under-represented groups; develop non-binding recommendations for the Milwaukee County Supervisory Board; and provide updates and recommendations to County Council until all ARPA funds are allocated.

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