Twinsburg could see $3.7 million from the American Rescue Plan Act

April Helms
Akron Beacon Journal
Twinsburg Government Center

TWINSBURG -- The city of Twinsburg could receive $3.7 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. 

"We are awaiting official guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury, but the information that we’ve received thus far indicates that these funds may have a broader allowed use than the relief funds received in 2020," said Sarah Buccigross, the city finance director. "We appreciate the continued support for local governments to navigate the negative financial impact of the global pandemic as we work to recover over the next few years." 

Buccigross said the finance committee will discuss the American Rescue Plan March 23. She added that the $3.7 million figure is an estimate.

According to information from the website, congress.gov, The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed into law March 11.

Councilman Sam Scaffide (W-1) said he was "pretty excited" about the ARPA funding. 

"I guess it's still not real clear yet about what we'll be able to use it on," Scaffide said. "But [Buccigross] said that it looks like we may be able to use it in a much broader way than we did last year's payments." 

The allocation of the funds, Buccigross said, would be distributed in two parts, on a time table to be determined by the U.S. Treasury. She added that "most likely" half of the money would come in 2021, and the other half in 2022.

Bugicross said eligible uses include:

  • Revenue replacement to the extent of reduction in revenue;
  • Premium pay for essential workers;
  • Assistance for economic recovery for businesses, households and non-profits; and
  • Investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

The money could not be used "to directly or indirectly offset tax reductions or delay a tax [or a] tax increase," Buccigross said. Funds also can't be deposited into any pension fund. In addition, funds must be spent by Dec. 31, 2024. 

According to information provided by Pam Welsh from Squire Patton Boggs in Washington D.C., ARPA allocates $350 billion to states, territories and tribal governments in one category, and cities, counties and local governments in a second. 

"One significant distinction between the funding for states and local governments is that the former may receive their funding all at once, while the latter will receive it in two equal [allocations]," Welsh stated in a letter sent to city Councilmembers. "The ARPA gives the secretary of the treasury discretion to break the payment to the states into two equal payments one year apart — 50% provided within 60 days of enactment and the remaining funds provided not less than one year from that date."

Welsh said that essential workers, or eligible workers, are “those workers needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors and additional sectors.” 

"The legislation notes that it allows each governor or municipal leader to designate its employees that qualify as critical to protect the health and well-being of their residents," Welsh stated. She added that the bill provides for premium pay for up to $13 an hour to eligible workers, which is capped at $2,500.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com