Introduction to the American Rescue Plan (ARP)


In recent months, regional media have covered American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding decisions made in several communities in Southeast Connecticut. July 26, New london day was titled “American Rescue Plan Funding Floods Southeastern Connecticut”.

Even before that, on June 15, Old Lyme’s first draft man, Timothy Griswold, said: “The US bailout will pay the city about $ 743,000, with an additional $ 1,419,000 in the payment. in New London County, for a total of approximately $ 2,162,000.

I will discuss the fundamentals of ARP in this “View”; then review the approach taken by Old Lyme to decide how best to distribute these funds.

My goal in this essay is for readers to gain some understanding of this important legislation. Note that this is not an exhaustive analysis of ARP, just what I consider important highlights.

The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is a $ 1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by Congress and enacted by President Biden on March 11, 2021. effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is actually the sixth federal COVID-19 relief bill passed in the past year and a half; and perhaps the largest, in terms of funds going to Connecticut.

The plan includes $ 65.1 billion in direct and flexible aid to every county in the United States; then, via the counties, additional funds to certain towns, cities and villages.

Connecticut cities will receive $ 2.55 billion, of which $ 1.56 billion is earmarked for “general governments” (meaning vital public services) and $ 995 million for school boards.

Approved uses: The Treasury Department has issued guidelines for the proper use of these funds; and ensure ongoing monitoring as funds are disbursed.

Eligible uses fall into five categories:

  1. Support the public health response, including mitigation and medical spending
  2. Address negative economic impacts, which may include assistance to households, small businesses and non-profit organizations; or aid to affected industries, such as tourism, travel, the arts and hospitality
  3. Investing in water, sewers and broadband infrastructure
  4. Bonuses paid to essential workers
  5. Replace lost public sector revenue.

ARP Old Lyme activities:

The Old Lymes Board of Directors (BOS) has appointed a committee * to develop and recommend (to the BOS) an approach for the distribution of ARP funds to residents and businesses of Old Lyme who have been affected by the COVID pandemic. This committee is made up of people with extensive expertise in the areas of public health, business, municipal infrastructure, social services, emergency services, the arts and tourism.

The first real ‘hands-on’ introduction to this group by residents will take place over the next few weeks, when the committee conducts an investigation into the impact of COVID on our community. These survey results are very important, as they will provide a framework for an estimate of the collective needs of Old Lyme and help establish priorities that will be included in the recommendation to the BOS. A funding process can then be developed and made public.


Numerous Old Lyme residents and business owners may have already benefited from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), which was enacted on March 27, 2020 by then-President Donald Trump, also for emergency relief from the economic impacts of COVID.

CARES’s $ 2 trillion included one-time cash payments to eligible people, expanded unemployment benefits, direct payments to eligible families, and the Paycheck Protection Program, which offered grants and “subordinate” loans to small businesses (i.e. eligible salary costs).

Some final thoughts:

The Old Lyme ARP holdings are currently held in a “paid account ”in a local bank. Note that these funds, including interest, must be committed or allocated before December 31, 2024.

Among regional cities, Norwich received the most overall funding, nearly $ 30 million, followed by New London with more than $ 26 million.

East Lyme, Montville, Stonington and Waterford each received more than $ 5 million. Lyme received $ 685,421.56.

A complex methodology was used to determine the funding levels; I won’t try to do it justice within the limits of this essay.

That said, the federal government used a modified version of the old HUD Block grant formula for community development, the total amount of the subsidy for “non-metropolitan cities” being capped at 75% of the municipality’s most recent budget “(ie January 27, 2020). The revised formula also took into account the total population and the local unemployment rate.

In closing, the Committee plans to publish the aforementioned survey in local media and other channels directly reaching residents.

* Editor’s note: The members of the Old Lyme ARP committee elected the author as chair at their first meeting.

Tom gotowka

About the Author: Tom Gotowka’s entire adult career has been in the healthcare industry. He will sit on the Navy side at the Army / Navy football game. He’s always sitting on the crimson side at any Harvard / Yale competition. He enjoys reading historical speeches and considers himself a scholar of the period from FDR to JFK.

A child of AM Radio, he probably knows the lyrics to every rock and roll or folk song released since 1960. He hopes these experiences will give readers an idea of ​​what he thinks he “qualifies” to write this column.

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