Guide to Local Recovery Update: May 4

May 4, 2022

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has published a list of answers to frequently asked questions about the use of State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which were authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act. Additionally, several national organizations will lead webinars about broadband access and related federal funding opportunities. 

Updated ARPA Guidance

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has published an updated FAQ to help cities understand the use of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which were established under the American Rescue Plan Act. It is critical that cities continue to accurately and appropriately allocate their second tranche of recovery funding.

The updated FAQ combines previous answers to questions associated with the interim Final Rule — which are still applicable — with answers to questions received by the Treasury Department since the Final Rule was released in January 2022.

The most notable updates relevant to California cities include:

  • Eligible fund uses: Across a variety of eligible use categories, the FAQ better describes how recipients can use funds to respond to the public health emergency, address negative economic impacts, support workers returning to work, make investments in affordable housing, address labor supply shortages in specific sectors, and support public school facility improvements.
  • Revenue loss category: The FAQ describes the differences between choosing the “standard allowance” option and performing a revenue loss calculation when filing reports. It also notes eligible uses of funds within the revenue loss category.
  • Regional projects: In its updated guidance, the Treasury Department clarifies that fund recipients may pool funds for regional projects.
  • Uniform guidance: The FAQ also includes a new section that clarifies which provisions of the federal Uniform Guidance apply to the Local Fiscal Recovery Fund program.
  • Non-entitlement units of local government: FAQs about the distribution of funds to non-entitlement units of local government — generally municipalities with less than 50,000 residents — are included in a separate FAQ supplement.

The Treasury Department will update this FAQ as additional guidance is developed.

Broadband webinars

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is hosting several webinars in connection with the new broadband grant programs authorized and funded by the federal infrastructure spending package. The series will cover the agency’s various broadband programs to help applicants prepare high-quality grant applications. The May 11 webinar will focus on supply chains and workforce development.

The National League of Cities will hold a webinar on strategies for connecting older Americans to broadband on May 24. Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, along with other federal and local officials, will discuss barriers to broadband access and adoption for older Americans, effective strategies for overcoming these barriers, and new resources available to local leaders to help get residents of all ages connected.

City officials looking for additional information about the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, or additional recovery tools can visit the Cal Cities Guide to Local Recovery portal.