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Township To Decide How To Use ARPA Funds

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) is a nearly 2 trillion-dollar stimulus bill designed to speed up economic recovery for citizens, businesses and governments in the wake of the pandemic. Michigan Townships with a population of less than 50,000 were originally not entitled to ARPA funding. However, adjustments to allow for larger Townships like Bloomfield to receive funds were made grouping these communities as Non-Entitlement Units (NEUs). Although Bloomfield’s population is larger than many cities as a NEU we only received $4.4 Million in ARPA Funds to help supplement services and counterbalance decreased revenue experienced in 2020 and 2021.
 
According to Supervisor Dani Walsh, “Initially the money came with extreme limitations and was initially restricted to federal initiatives to expand broadband, water, and sewer to underserved communities. These limitations penalized communities like Bloomfield Township that already had access to those 3 fundamental areas. We joined other communities in lobbying our federal officials for leniency and expansion of initiatives. Thankfully we waited, because the final rule was changed and now NEUs can use these funds to positively impact their individual community needs. Being patient and practical paid off and now we can focus on improving resources and services.”
 
The Board of Trustees will hold its first study session on September 6 at 5:00p.m. with presentations from each Department on their long-term capital needs and improving services. There will be community engagement and additional study sessions to fully consider and discuss the departmental, community, and trustee ideas. The final plan on how to spend the money must be decided by December 31, 2024. The funds must be completely spent by December 31, 2026. The entire amount has been received and will remain on the balance sheet until qualified expenditures are incurred.
 
All study sessions are open to the public. Study sessions can be viewed on the Township website’s Video on Demand page, and the minutes of the study session can be found on Documents on Demand.

 

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