More than a year after the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law, Ohio communities are in the recovery phase from the pandemic and many are looking for the receipts. RuralOrganizing.org Education Fund has analyzed ARPA allocations in Ohio to answer the question: how is this progressive policies impacting real people in Ohio?
The federal government allocated over $658 million to Ohio Congressional District 9 from ARPA. For the 9th district skirting Lake Erie, these funds have meant local budget balancing, education investments, restaurant revitalization, rent assistance, and more.
The table above details the top funded the federal programs funded in Ohio CD9.
- The biggest portion (58.4%) went directly to State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. These funds have largely been used to balance budget shortfalls in local governments and to fund local grant programs. Local governments have discretion to use these funds, and many have been collecting public input to determine how to spend them.
- Education stabilization makes up the second biggest spending bucket in CD9, echoing ARPA spending across the country.
- Emergency connectivity funding also made the top ten.
- Head Start programs, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, and health center investments all totaled in the millions of dollars in Ohio’s CD9.
Projects in Ohio Congressional District 9 Funded by ARPA:
- Ottawa County (allocated $7.9 million)
- Supported extension of a critical water transmission main in the western part of the county.
- Spending plans for local funds not yet available.
- Individuals can make comments on how ARPA funds should be use in Ottawa County, in addition to in-person and limited Zoom comments during meetings, using this email address: [email protected]
- Lucas County (allocated $83.2 million, excluding municipalities’ allocations)
- Recovery Plan (and Report for Funds) – ARPA allocation and spending information for Lucas County is not yet available.
- City of Toledo Recover Plan (allocated $180.9 million) – The biggest portion of Toledo’s ARPA funding has been reserved for avoiding cuts to city services. To date, spending from this category has gone to premium pay for essential workers, totaling $8,600,000. Another $10 million has been approved for lead service line replacements, and a planned investment of $10 million for affordable housing.
- Cuyahoga County (allocated $240 million):
- Cuyahoga County Recovery Plan Performance Report
- First slate of projects include $9 million in workforce development to build on the county’s current manufacturing partnership program, $ 5 million to remediate brownfields, and $5 million to help the Greater Cleveland Food Bank build a new, $40 million storage and distribution facility, among others.
- Second slate of projects include $20 million toward homelessness supports, $3.3 million to help the county’s arts and culture organizations and $2 million more for small business support ($7 million was already allocated, and 50% of this funding was granted to minority businesses, reports Cleveland.com), $2.5 million to help stabilize the hillside along Irishtown Bend to prevent a collapse, and $1.8 million to bolster the county’s lead mitigation efforts. See link for full list.
- Lorain County (allocated $60 million):
- City of Lorain’s Recovery Plan with spending priorities
- $1.5-million-dollar Small Business Stimulus program designed to assist small businesses in Lorain County that have been negatively impacted or have faced hardship due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and its related effects on the economy. Grants will be made in the amount of $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, or $20,000. Deadline to apply was May 27, 2022. More information here.
- Erie County (allocated $52 million):
- The first spending plan was approved in August, 2021. County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper says a more expansive plan is needed. The first spending provisions include free tuition for students at Erie County Community College, small business grants, seed money for a Fire Authority, and a diversity, equity, and inclusion commission.
- Twenty-four small businesses received funding in late 2021.
- As recently as June, 2022, Erie County Executive Brenton Davis, is continuing to pitch an “Economic Fusion Cell” to utilize ARPA funds for regional collaborative projects, pooling funds across county and municipality lines and working to maximize matching fund opportunities.
If you would like to look up any of the over 18,000 individual ARPA funded projects in Ohio, you can download the data yourself using the “Advanced Search” at USASpending.gov. Feel free to reach out to Annie Contractor at [email protected] for support.