Commissioners start allocating ARPA funds

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Clackamas County Commissioners have started allocating millions of dollars of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds received from the federal government. 

Clackamas County received $40,631,961 in ARPA funds in May. At a Policy Session this past Tuesday, July 13, commissioners allocated $12.5 million out of these initial funds:

  • Business Support ($4 million)
    This money will be distributed through a grant process.
  • Nonprofit Support ($6 million)
    This money is dedicated in two streams:
    • $4 million for carrying out programs assisting communities hardest hit by COVID, including those that are underserved, low-income, and BIPOC.
    • $2 million specifically dedicated for nonprofits to help communities listed above meet basic needs such as sanitation, food, diapers, hygiene, etc. 
  • Broadband infrastructure support ($2.5 million)
    This money is aimed at providing high-speed internet service for residents in rural or underserved parts of the county.  

In late June, commissioners also allocated $1.5 million for the continued operation of the county’s COVID response through the Emergency Operations Center and vaccine distribution, $3 million in premium pay for essential workers, and $150,000 for local Business Recovery Centers.  

Altogether, commissioners have now allocated $17,150,000 of the initial funds received in May. 

Clackamas County is slated to receive the remaining funds (approximately $40 million) from the federal government after May 2022. Commissioners have voiced their intention to allocate some of these future federal ARPA funds to broadband and COVID response through the Emergency Operations Center and vaccine distribution.  

About ARPA

ARPA was signed into law this past March to provide emergency funding for state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to provide relief from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While federal guidance about proper allocation continues to be clarified, investment areas that funds can be used toward include supporting local public health, addressing negative economic impacts, replacing public sector revenue loss, providing premium pay for essential workers, addressing water and sewer infrastructure, and supporting broadband infrastructure.

Commissioners will allocate more funds in the coming months. One key piece of forthcoming information is final guidance from the federal government on allowable spending. 

More (and ongoing) information about the spending of APRA funds can be found on our Recovery webpage. Tuesday’s policy session video and materials can be found online

Community survey receives more than 3,600 responses 

During May, in anticipation of allocating the ARPA funds, Clackamas County invited residents to take an unscientific survey to gauge how the community valued different potential uses. 

More than 3,600 people took the English-language survey, which was the second-most survey responses in county history. Spanish-language and Russian-language versions were also offered and filled out by dozens of community members. 

Supporting businesses, supporting nonprofits, and enhancing broadband all received more than 50% of respondents stating that such investments were “valuable” or “somewhat valuable.” The survey results are just one of many resources Clackamas County Commissioners can use when making decisions about how best to invest these critical funds.

Full survey results and analyses can be viewed online