Linn County will hold a series of public engagement forums over the next few weeks and use public input from the forums to help identify broad community priorities on the best use of the American Rescue Plan Act funding in Linn County.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. It is meant to speed up the United States' recovery from the economic and health effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding package builds upon the CARES Act from March 2020 and its extension in December 2020. ARPA provides a total of $350 billion in assistance for eligible state and local governments to respond to the economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Linn County will receive $44 million in ARPA federal relief funds over the next two years. The funding must be used within the federal guidelines.
The Linn County Board of Supervisors wants to capture as many perspectives as possible so we know the many needs that exist in our community are considered as part of this process.
“Our process is designed to be open and transparent. Everyone deserves to be heard, which is why we are working to bring as many stakeholders to the table as possible,” said Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker. “At the end of the day, these dollars belong to the people so we should co-create people-oriented solutions to meet their needs and make our community better.”
The first public engagement forum will be held August 11, 2021 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the downtown Cedar Rapids Public Library – Whipple Auditorium, 450 5th Ave. SE. The format will include a presentation by County staff, a Q&A session, and the opportunity for public input.
Additional forums will be announced soon.
Linn County is developing a survey for residents as part of the public input process to identify priority community needs. The survey will be available at the forums and posted on Linn County’s website beginning August 11.
Once community priorities are identified, Linn County will open an application process for eligible applicants to apply for the ARPA funds. Linn County will provide application guidelines and eligibility requirements once details are finalized, which is expected to be later this fall.
Visit LinnCounty.org/ARPA for more information.