Legislation would require regular updates on ARPA 

Legislation submitted today by Vice-President Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons and Legislator Rachel Barnhart would require County Executive Adam Bello to provide regular reports to the Legislature about American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. In addition, the reports would have to be posted on the County website.

The County received $144.1 million in ARPA funding, all of which must be obligated by the end of the year, and spent by the end of 2026.

“This is a historic opportunity to make strategic investments in our community. In the spirit of transparency and accountability, we would like to see regular reports until the program ends,” said Vice-President Vazquez-Simmons. “In addition, by sharing these reports online, we build trust with the public.”

“Our work on ARPA is far from over. We still have funds left – and we need to know exactly how much is available for new projects,” said Legislator Barnhart. “We also need to understand how projects we previously approved are going, including ones that have not started.”

The County would be required to post the following: 

  • Amount of remaining ARPA funds.
  • Amount of ARPA funds that have not been appropriated by the Legislature.
  • Balance remaining on each ARPA award
  • State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds reports to the federal government as generated.
  • Compliance reviews for each ARPA awardee as conducted.
  • Audits conducted of awardees, including those conducted to date

Currently, the Legislature has only been provided with the quarterly reports to the federal government, and only upon request. Those reports do not include all information the Legislature needs to make informed decisions and understand the full status of the ARPA program. This legislation would require additional material, including project-specific compliance reports and audits.

“The Legislature has some big decisions ahead over the summer on what to do with remaining funds. We need this information, and we need it to be ongoing,” said Vice-President Vazquez-Simmons.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to obligate the rest of these dollars, and look forward to working with our colleagues to make informed decisions,” said Legislator Barnhart.