American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
The City of Council Bluffs is receiving approximately $24.8 million in federal Fiscal Recovery Funds appropriated through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress in March of 2021.
ARPA provides a wide variety of resources for our nation as a response to the COVID-19 public health or economic crisis. Additional information can be found at whitehouse.gov/american-rescue-plan and treasury.gov. The plan specifically provides state and local fiscal recovery funds for use at the local level.
ARPA’s Fiscal Recovery Fund is a one-time allocation that will be used to improve the quality of life for Council Bluffs residents, to provide for immediate recovery needs, and to create a long-term investment for Council Bluffs’ future. Each expenditure must meet federal guidelines.
As defined in Treasury’s Final Rule, funds may be used:
- To respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality;
- To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID–19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers;
- For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID–19 public health emergency relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency; and
- To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure
Rainy day funds, financial reserves or fees, or issues of new debt or pensions are not allowable uses of the funds. There are limits on capital construction unless related to the pandemic health or economic recovery response directly. Recipient governments are prohibited from directly or indirectly offsetting a reduction in net tax revenue resulting from a change in law, regulation, or administrative interpretation during the covered period.
The following criteria are being used to determine priorities for the City of Council Bluffs:
- Review of ARPA allowable uses
- Review of ARPA funds being directly allocated to other purposes, like housing and education
- Review of existing plans, surveys, and recommendations
- Consultation of boards, commissions, and the City Council
- Community outreach to establish citizen priorities
All funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024, and spent by December 31, 2026.
||Qualifying Use Type
530 West Broadway (Cohen Building)
|To respond to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts.
|Radio System Upgrade||To respond to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts|| $2,283,751.00
|Manawa Property||To respond to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts
|Ambulance||To respond to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts||$280,000.00||In Progress|
|Mobile Command Center||To respond to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts||$172,500.00||In Progress|
|Revenue Loss YE 2020 (Claimed)*
Actual Revenue Loss YE 2020
Governmental Service Expenditure (from Revenue Loss)
|Revenue Loss YE 2021 (Claimed)*||Revenue Loss||$1,291,791.00||N/A|
|Items listed below are funded through Revenue Loss|
Body Worn Cameras
Governmental Service Expenditure (from Revenue Loss)
|Pottawattamie County Housing Trust Fund||Revenue Loss||$ 150,000.00||In Progress|
|Central Fire Chiller and Distribution Panel||Revenue Loss||$672,000||In Progress|
*As stated in the ARPA Final Rule Overview, “The growth adjustment is the greater of either a standard growth rate - 5.2 percent - or the recipient’s average annual revenue growth in the last full three fiscal years prior to the COVID–19 public health emergency.” The City of Council Bluffs used 5.2% in its calculation.
Other Available Community Resources
Avoiding duplication of resources is a priority for our community. The following resources are already available in Council Bluffs:
The City received a grant in 2020 to assist local property owners with the identification of potential hazards, prepare for remediation, and create new redevelopment opportunities within the South Expressway Corridor.
Creation of Affordable Housing
The City utilizes Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership Program funds to create new affordable housing opportunities including infrastructure extensions, acquisition of vacant land, rehabilitation, and new construction of multi-family housing.
Down Payment Assistance
Through a partnership with NeighborWorks Home Solutions, the City provides down payment assistance to qualified homebuyers to purchase a new construction single-family home.
To preserve the existing housing stock and stabilize residential neighborhoods, the City offers two housing rehabilitation programs for qualified homeowners: (1) the Safe Housing Program provides assistance to correct housing conditions that represent a threat to the health, safety, and well-being of the occupants; and (2) the Affected Properties Program to assist qualified homeowners with updating exteriors and major systems.
Another priority of ARPA is lead exposure mitigation for children. The City currently operates the Lead Hazard Reduction Program to create lead-safe housing for households with children under six years old.
Public Services and Facilities
The City provides financial assistance to nonprofits to assist with operating expenses and facility upgrades. Call the Housing & Economic Development Division at (712) 890-5350 for information on how to apply.