Are you ready to be rescued?

Author: Mark Olson, Senior Manager (Email)

Cities and counties are beginning to get a better sense of what the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act will mean to them. Knowing direct aid is coming helps ease anxieties after a full year of pandemic response and revenue shortfalls. Making smart choices to maximize this much-needed funding is now the focus.

Raftelis is helping our clients make decisions about how to use their funding to prioritize projects, plug revenue holes, and make investments that align with Rescue Plan opportunities.  Some of the questions we are hearing with include:

  • How do we manage expectations among elected officials, the community, and staff?
  • How can we map local priorities to available funding while keeping our operating capacity and the funding time constraints in mind?
  • What are the impacts to our short-term and long-term financial planning?
  • How does this impact our immediate and continuing operations?
  • We put some capital projects on hold, should we move ahead now?
  • How do we structure the opportunities that will need to involve the support of outside groups through grants?
  • How do we set up a compliance reporting system that will capture the required data, on a schedule, and in a report format that makes this easier?

News of rescue funding coming will have governing bodies eager to make plans. Fifty percent of the funding is coming to states for distribution by May 9, 2021. With a whirlwind of activity around this effort it is easy to get bogged down in opinions and misperceptions. Here’s a summary of some of the issues we’re hearing and how you can respond.

This funding was actively sought by many municipalities, and now that they are on the cusp of receiving substantial funds it will be critical to have a strategy in place that will help revitalize your community and your infrastructure while also helping to sustain small businesses and non-profits. It’s a big charge, but local government leaders are innovators, and excited to partner with communities to address these challenges proactively and creatively.