Mills Administration Unveils Local Fiscal Recovery Program to Distribute $119 Million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds to Maine Towns and Cities
Maine municipalities can access this Federal funding via a portal unveiled
Augusta, ME (STL.News) The Mills Administration unveiled today a fiscal recovery program to distribute $119.2 million in Federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) to local governments across Maine. The Local Fiscal Recovery Program is a State pathway to infuse Federal funds into Maine towns and cities to support a variety of their economic recovery priorities, such as addressing the economic or public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, replacing lost public sector revenue, or investing in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.
The Mills Administration applied for the Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from the U.S. Treasury and has received $59.6 million for immediate distribution, with a second tranche of equal value expected in approximately one year and to be distributed at that time. As part of the program , the Department of Administrative and Financial Services has also unveiled an online portal through which Maine municipalities can request the Federal funding.
“The American Rescue Plan makes historic investments in our communities that will help us recover from the pandemic and build a stronger, brighter future for our state and our people,” said Governor Janet Mills. “The unprecedented Federal funding we will distribute through this new program will help towns and cities across Maine rebuild infrastructure, bolster services, and make a real difference in the lives of their citizens. I look forward to working with municipal officials to deploy these resources and put them to work improving the lives and livelihoods of Maine people.”
“The Maine Municipal Association is pleased that the Maine’s 477 non-entitlement communities will soon be able to access their share of the Federal revenue allocated under the American Rescue Plan Act. In anticipation of the distribution, municipal officials from across the State have been meeting with other local, county, and State leaders to explore opportunities for investing this level of unprecedented federal funding,” said Catherine Conlow, Executive Director of Maine Municipal Association. “With the right partnerships in place, municipalities will be able to invest these one-time funds strategically towards community goals with projects that increase the affordable housing stock, address the impacts of climate change, improve infrastructure, and expand access to broadband. Investments that will benefit the residents of Maine for decades.”
“In the coming days, municipal leaders will be invited to start the process for requesting funding through the American Rescue Plan Act. To that end, municipal officials are urged to keep an eye out for communications from both the State and Maine Municipal Association, to ensure that your community has access to this historic funding opportunity. Because the U. S. Treasury’s guidelines provide municipalities only 60 days to apply for the revenue, Maine Municipal Association strongly urges communities to start the process sooner rather than later,” said James Gardner, Jr., President of Maine Municipal Association and Easton Town Manager. “I look forward to seeing and experiencing the positive impacts that these investments will have on our communities, region, and State. Finally, on behalf of Maine Municipal Association leadership and membership, I want to sincerely thank Senator Collins, Senator King, Congresswoman Pingree, Congressman Golden, as well as Governor Janet Mills, for their roles in making this community investment a reality. This is truly a welcomed partnership.”
“Maine towns and cities will have these crucial funds in hand quickly so they can be put to use immediately on behalf of local residents,” said Kirsten Figueroa, Commissioner for the Department of Administrative and Financial Services. “The pandemic has made our lives complicated enough. We have created a portal to ensure streamlined disbursement and accounting and to keep the process as simple as possible for Maine’s communities, who are on the frontlines day in and day out supporting Mainers across the state.”
Local Fiscal Recovery Funds will be issued to local governments across Maine based upon their relative share of the non-entitlement unit population, not to exceed the amount equal to 75 percent of the most recent municipal budget as of January 27, 2020 in accordance with guidance from the U.S. Treasury.
The Local Fiscal Recovery Program is part of a more than $4.5 billion Federal investment in Maine from ARPA, which also includes stimulus payments to Maine families, recovery efforts like bolstering public health including COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, broadband infrastructure, and direct payments to Maine’s county governments and so-called “entitlement” cities. The remaining approximately $1 billion in ARPA funding to Maine will be used to deploy the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, the Mills Administration’shistoric investment into strategic priorities such as childcare, workforce housing, clean drinking water, workforce development, energy efficiency, and heritage industries, among other priorities identified to sustain and grow Maine’s economy.