April 27, 2022
ARPA Working Groups virtual presentation of ideas on Tuesday, May 3
Boulder County residents are invited to join community representatives and the Boulder County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) to learn about the Working Group proposals for the equitable distribution of federal funds in Boulder County.
Boulder County, Colo. -- Next Tuesday, May 3, the Boulder County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing as part of their ARPA community engagement process. The ARPA Working Groups will present their ideas and recommendations about the use of federal funds for an equitable recovery from the pandemic. The meeting will be held via Zoom at https://boco.org/BOCC-ARPA-Hearing at 4:30 p.m.
Based on insights and ideas collected from residents of Boulder County, the ARPA Working Groups prioritized their proposals in three areas: Economic Challenges, Housing Affordability, and Mental Health and Social Resilience, identifying the potential investments to best support communities suffering the most as the result of the pandemic.
“We are grateful for the hard work of community members alongside leaders and staff from the non-profit, business, and public sectors who contributed with their time, knowledge, and experience to create a comprehensive set of ideas and carefully consider the best uses of ARPA funds,” stated Commissioner Marta Loachamin “The ARPA Working Groups presentation, next Tuesday, May 3, is an opportunity to listen to the proposals that consider how to relieve the financial burdens of families, tackle disparities in public health, and respond to negative impacts on households and individuals in Boulder County.”
Some of the topics discussed in the Working Groups’ meetings included proposals that may support low-income families who have struggled to pay for or access childcare services, programs to invest in the local economy, and mental health navigation and support. The Working Groups also considered how to support populations suffering disparate impacts from the pandemic.
The ARPA money provides an opportunity for the county to help those who are impacted by the pandemic. "We appreciate the Working Group members who dedicated their time and expertise to deliver proposals centered on an equitable recovery of residents, employees, business owners, and students in Boulder County, particularly those most impacted by COVID,” added Commissioner Matt Jones
The ARPA Working Groups developed their proposals according to the following criteria:
- Balance between long-term transformational changes and short-term immediate relief for historically underserved communities in Boulder County
- Transformational proposals for those who were most impacted by the pandemic
- Ideas easy to deploy to quickly help the people in need
- Sustainable when ARPA funding runs out
- Equity as the center of the work addressing racial, economic, and health disparities
- Recommendations that leverage already completed plans and research
- Groundbreaking, something that County Government would not or could not have done on its own
“ARPA provides a framework for determining the types of programs and services eligible to promote equitable outcomes. We are looking to maximize county ARPA dollars to address the specific effects the pandemic has had on communities in Boulder County with programs and projects that can have lasting and transformative impacts in our communities,” Commissioner Claire Levy said. “One consistent concern from community members was the affordability of housing and the effect of high rent on their household budgets. We hope that ARPA funds can help us move the needle on the availability of housing that is affordable to residents of Boulder County.”
ARPA Working Groups Process:
The first meeting of the ARPA Working Groups was held on February 28, 2022. The full day of informative workshops briefed participants on the impacts of COVID-19 in the county, shared the most pressing needs of community members, and discussed timelines and eligibility guidance from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
From March through April 2022 the Working Groups met to review ideas from the community survey that was completed during summer 2021 and to further prioritize and develop a strong set of project recommendations that support recovery and transformational outcomes. The recordings of these meetings are available on boco.org/arpa.
On May 3rd, the ARPA Working Groups will make a final presentation to the BOCC of their project recommendations. The virtual meeting will be open for public comment. Attendees can join the presentation at https://boco.org/BOCC-ARPA-Hearing. Registration is required.
On March 11, 2021, ARPA was signed into law. As part of ARPA, the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) was established to deliver relief funds to state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments to bolster their response to the COVID-19 emergency and its impacts. Boulder County was allocated $63.3 million, with half of the funding received in 2021 and the remainder to be disbursed in mid-2022.
For more information, updates, and next steps about Boulder County’s allocation of local government ARPA funding go to boco.org/arpa