Congress passed the American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARPA), which established the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. This fund is intended to assist local governments nationwide with COVID-19 pandemic recovery. Sussex County was among thousands of local governments to be awarded ARPA funds.
Based on population and other factors in a federal calculus, Sussex County government received nearly $45.5 million in federal ARPA funding. All funds must be committed to eligible projects and expenses by Dec. 31, 2024.
In the spring of 2022, those funds were recommended to be used to assist needs spanning a multitude of sectors, from public safety and infrastructure to housing and healthcare. Specifically, the funding allocations included:
- $25 million for sewer infrastructure, including treatment and disposal upgrades to some of the County’s existing wastewater facilities;
- $6.3 million for affordable housing, specifically to enhance the County’s Housing Trust Fund that provides individual homebuyer assistance, as well as grants to non-profits and other groups developing projects;
- $5 million in grants to non-profit entities for eligible expenses in response to the health emergency;
- $3 million for IT security upgrades to help protect the County’s water and sewer infrastructure;
- $2 million for low-income services, including the County’s housing rehabilitation and sewer connection fee assistance programs;
- $1.4 million for eight (8) additional public safety employees in the County’s Emergency Operations Center and Emergency Medical Services departments;
- $500,000 for the County’s Kitchen Incubator initiative to bolster training in the local hospitality/tourism industry;
- $250,000 for intergovernmental grants for other programs and initiatives for COVID-19 response efforts.
For background on ARPA and the County’s use of these federal funds, please review the following presentations:
- Sussex County ARPA funding recommendations (March 2022)
- Sussex County ARPA funding announcement news release (March 2022)
- Sussex County ARPA grant awards (June 2022)
- Sussex County ARPA grant awards news brief (June 2022)
Expenses related to ARPA funds, as well as other County expenditures, can be tracked via the County’s online financial information portal.