The American Rescue Plan committee, made up of the Benton County Quorum Court, will begin deciding where to allocate ARP funds during the month of April.
The Benton County American Rescue Plan committee will host two public meetings in April for the purpose of review and decision making. As part of the American Rescue Plan, Benton County will receive $54 million from the federal government. In August 2021, Benton County requested organizations apply for economic recovery assistance as part of the American Rescue Plan. The County received 57 applications between August through October. Two meetings are scheduled in April to decide where to allocate the funds. The official decisions will be approved by the Quorum Court with the potential for money to be awarded as early as late-April.
During the April meetings, Quorum Court members will begin recommending funding based on whether each group meets the established criteria for a successful and impactful project. The Quorum Court will review each proposal on a case-by-case basis and may choose to provide full, partial, or no funding to an individual group. Justices of the Peace were provided with a tool to evaluate each group prior to the April meetings and will base their decision on those evaluations.
Approved applicants will sign agreements with Benton County, submit reporting documentation, and submit expenditure details for any funds awarded. All awarded money must be encumbered by December 31, 2024 and spent by December 31, 2026. Any funds not used by the organizations will need to be returned to Benton County.
When are the American Rescue Plan Review/Decision Making Meetings?
Monday, April 4
Thursday, April 7
Agendas will be available for each meeting on the Benton County website: https://bentoncountyar.gov/calendar/.
What is the American Rescue Plan?
According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide a substantial infusion of resources to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery. The U.S. Department of Treasury is launching this relief to:
- Support urgent COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control
- Replace lost revenue for eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs
- Support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses
- Address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the impact of the pandemic
How does this impact Benton County?
Benton County will receive $54 million total from the American Rescue Plan. The Benton County Quorum Court formed an American Rescue Plan Committee which will be the legislative body determining how and where these funds will be utilized. The American Rescue Plan Committee will meet in 2022 and review the applications in the Benton County Quorum Court room at 215 E. Central Avenue to discuss the relief topics.
How can the public participate?
As always, these meetings are open to the public. Public comment will be taken in person or comments can be sent to QuorumCourt@BentonCountyAR.Gov which goes to each member of the Quorum Court. More details will come from these meetings and will be communicated with the public and necessary entities as determined.