Frederick County Council On Tues. To Discuss ARPA Funds

The money is to be used to help recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Frederick, Md (KM) Frederick County is getting more than $50-million in American Recovery Plan Act funding to help in its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, the county has receive $25,206,981 in ARPA funding, with a similar amount coming next year.

The American Rescue Plan Act signed into law on March 11th, 2021 by the president  provides money to help state and local governments recover from the pandemic. These funds can be used for public health initiatives, negative economic impact caused by the pandemic, replacing lost public sector revenue and investing in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. The money cannot be used to offset reductions in tax revenues.

County Executive Jan Gardner says her administration will provide an update to the County Council on Tuesday on its plan for using the ARPA funds. :”The overall goal with our ARPA, our federal dollars, is to  create generational change,” she says. “We really want to lift  families, reduce health disparities and stabilize, especially hard hit areas, from the pandemic.”

Regarding the area, of health, Gardner says “we need to make sure we continue to ensure a robust response to protecting public health from the impacts of COVID-19 since we still are in a pandemic,” she says. “We want to advance and address health disparities by moving forward with several projects that are focused on community-based efforts including maternal health.”

Another issue which needs to be addressed is children and families. “We want to strengthen children and families by providing resources and support to improve family stability, reduce adverse childhood experiences and ensure success in school,” says Gardner. “We’re also focused on economic recovery. We’ll support economic recovery for our business community and agriculture through continued grants, while ensuring equity through minority outreach, training and capital grant programs.”

Other issues to be addressed, says Gardner, are mental health and senior citizens.

She says a lot of these ideas came from roundtable discussions held recently with citizens, and input from residents.

By Kevin McManus