I am delighted to reach out in my role as the Chair of Chestertown’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Advisory Task Force. I was struck by something I recently read when researching the ARPA compliance and reporting guidelines; “The hardest thing to do in government is to deal with one-time money and not waste it.”
ARPA, for many of us, is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the expectations surrounding the most appropriate use of these funds is highly elevated and discussed. US Treasury guidelines remind us that ARPA has “potential to catalyze broader economic recovery and rebuilding.” ARPA presents a historic opportunity for the Town of Chestertown to make a lasting economic and community impact – one that every person in Chestertown wants to get right. COVID has turned our economies and lives upside down. As we recover, the driving mission of our Town Council is to make the best decisions for the Town of Chestertown with these ARPA funds.
The ARPA Advisory Task Force members were specifically appointed to help advance a measured and managed process for community funding requests, advise the Town, and make recommendations to the Mayor and the Town Council.
There is no cookie cutter approach to follow. The ARPA Advisory Task Force selected an application process to evaluate fund requests for the Town Council and ensure the requests are consistent with ARPA guidelines – addressing the immediate and long-term negative health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. When you consider all the impacts of COVID, as well as existing gaps and disparities, you quickly realize there will be many competing priorities vying for these funds. It is important to identify where the biggest needs are and what will have the greatest economic and community impact. The ARPA Advisory Task Force reviews, ranks, and recommends applicants in accordance with the Final Ruling from the US Treasury, the guidance from the State of Maryland, and the directives from our Town elected officials.
As the June 30, 2022, deadline approaches for qualified organizations to submit a letter of intent for review to the ARPA Advisory Task Force, I wanted to take an opportunity to reach out with a few reminders:
- For detailed information on the application process and Frequently Asked Questions, please click here or go to the ARPA page on the Town of Chestertown’s website. https://townofchestertown.com/ARPA/.
- Note important milestone dates:
- Letter of Intent Deadline: June 30, 2022
- Task Force sends applications to qualified applicants: September 1, 2022
- Application Due Date: November 1, 2022
- Recommendations to Mayor and Council Due Date: February 1, 2023
- All Funds must be allocated by December 31, 2024
- All Funds must be expended by December 31, 2026As of June 14, 2022, we have received six Letters of Intent in the following categories:
- Town Festival
- Food Insecurities
- Family and Youth Services
- Affordable Housing
It is my hope that the ARPA Advisory Task Force has established a clear and transparent process and the resources you need are easily accessible. The ARPA Advisory Task Force is committed to serving the Town of Chestertown by being as equitable as possible. We look forward to continuing advising the Mayor and Council in their charge to allocate funds in a manner that promotes the best possible impact and service to our community.
Thank you in advance for your interest, support, and participation. Please email the ARPA Advisory Task Force at firstname.lastname@example.org should you need help or have questions.
Kate Van Name – Chair
American Rescue Plan Act Advisory Task Force