Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell and Michelle Kichline approved the second round of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant recipients last week, at the final Commissioners’ public meeting of the year.
More than $6 million in grants were awarded for 22 projects. This adds to the $40 million in funds that were awarded to 73 applicants during the first round of grants, announced in September.
In awarding the funding, the Commissioners noted that the ARPA grants provide an equitable infusion of resources to meet local pandemic recovery needs and help accelerate the ongoing rebuilding of Chester County’s economy. Specifically in this round of funding, grants supported many first responder organizations, municipal infrastructure projects, subsidized early childhood education and care, and behavioral health assistance.
Chester County received more than 300 ARPA applications for funding requests from a wide array of municipalities, public authorities, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations that are located within, or provide substantial service to, the county. Application funding requests amounted to three times the total ARPA funds allocated to Chester County.
“The sheer number of applications the county received for ARPA funding, and the quality of those applications has made the decision process extremely difficult,” said Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz. “We are very encouraged to see the many incredible ways that our county businesses, community organizations, non-profits, and citizens are helping to rebuild our communities.”
Chester County’s ARPA funding recommendations were made to the Commissioners by a committee of 36 volunteers divided equally between Chester County residents and County staff. The volunteers formed six independent review teams and developed a system that followed ARPA guidelines to review proposals and address each priority for ARPA funding.
Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell said, “We cannot stress enough our appreciation for the work that so many individuals and organizations are doing and have been doing to contribute to the rebuilding of Chester County’s economy. It is incredibly disappointing that we do not have sufficient funds to award all the tremendous projects proposed and we encourage those who are still looking for funding to reach out to relevant county departments to explore other funding options.”
The breakdown in funding for the recommended projects, following both rounds of awarded grants, includes:
- $12.9 million in Behavioral Health
- $9 million in Public Health
- $7 million in Housing
- $6.9 million in Public Safety
- $3.3 million in Community Facilities and Programs
- $2.7 million in Infrastructure
- $1.8 million in Workforce Development
- $1.5 million in Food Security, and
- $1.1 million in Childcare
Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline said, “The ARPA program continues to allow us to consider crucial, but previously cost-prohibitive services, and one of the areas of opportunity that we are focusing on with the remaining funds is investment in affordable housing.”
All ARPA funding applications recommended by independent review teams have also been reviewed by Susquehanna Accounting and Consulting Services (SACS) to ensure compliance with federal rules.
A list of the ARPA fund awards can be found at chesco.org/arpa.