American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

The City of Council Bluffs will receive 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 Interim Final Rule, funds may be used: 

  1. 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;
  2. To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID–19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers;
  3. 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
  4. 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: 

  1. Review of ARPA allowable uses
  2. Review of ARPA funds being directly allocated to other purposes, like housing and education
  3. Review of existing plans, surveys, and recommendations
  4. Consultation of boards, commissions, and the City Council
  5. Community Outreach to establish citizen priorities 

Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Frequently Asked Questions

All funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024, and spent by December 31, 2026.

Approved ARPA Projects as of September 2021

Project Description

Qualifying Use Type

Estimated Cost

530 West Broadway -(Affordable Housing)

To respond to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts.

$250,000.00

Body Worn Cameras

To respond to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts.

$159,630.34

Revenue Loss YE 2020

Revenue loss

$11,108,208.00*

*As stated in the Interim Final Rule: “For purposes of measuring revenue growth in the counterfactual trend, recipients may use a growth adjustment of either 4.1 percent per year or the recipient’s average annual revenue growth over the three full fiscal years prior to the COVID–19 public health emergency, whichever is higher.” The City of Council Bluffs used 4.1% 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:

Brownfields Assessments

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. 

Brownfields Webpage

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. 

Business, Redevelopment, & Housing Assistance Webpage

COVID-19 Grants (CDBG-CV)

The City has received Community Development Block Grant COVID-19 (CDBG-CV) funds to provide assistance to local residents, non-profit organizations, and businesses to ensure sustainability during the COVID-19 pandemic. Direct Financial Assistance is available to residents who have lost income as a direct result of COVID-19. Business Assistance provides grants to businesses that have lost revenue due to COVID-19. CDBG-CV Food Security provides grants to local non-profits and businesses to ensure sustainability during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CDBG-CV Block Grant Webpage

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. 

Neighborworks Home Solutions 

Housing Rehabilitation

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. 

Housing Rehabilitation Webpage

Lead Mitigation

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. 

Lead Hazard Reduction Program Webpage 

Public Services and Facilities

The City provides financial assistance to nonprofits to assist with operating expenses and facility upgrades.  Applications are accepted annually and can be found at https://portal.neighborlysoftware.com/COUNCILBLUFFSIA/Participant

Additional Resources