U.P. counties get millions in rescue plan funds

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Treasury has distributed more than $319 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to more than 1,650 communities in the state, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday.

Of the 15 Upper Peninsula counties, 14 will receive at least $1 million in fund distributions from the treasury, with Marquette County receiving nearly $13 million in funds directly distributed by the treasury.

These ARPA dollars provided to cities, villages and townships across the state can be used to “respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, bring back jobs, provide premium pay to essential workers, make up for lost revenue or invest in water, sewer or high-speed internet infrastructure,” state officials said in a news release.

Local units of government have until 2024 to identify projects and obligate funds.

“This funding represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Michigan’s communities to make investments in local economies, services, infrastructure and so much more,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I encourage our dedicated local officials to look at how they can effectively utilize these dollars to invest in aging roads and bridges, replace lead service lines or provide broadband to underserved communities. We can use this funding to put Michiganders first and make investments today that will benefit generations to come.”

The U.S. Treasury Department is responsible for directly distributing $12,955,499 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to Marquette County, according to documents at treasury.gov.

Marquette County officials said they look forward to using the funds to benefit the area.

“The American Rescue funds will allow Marquette County to address some of its local challenges and priorities such as affordable housing, homelessness, child care challenges, as well as the opportunity to partner with others to address county-wide matters,” said Marquette County Board of Commissioners Chair Gerry Corkin in a statement. “It will also provide an opportunity to focus on long-term facility infrastructure challenges that the county has not been able to fund. These dollars will be spent in many different ways that will benefit Marquette County, its business and residents.”

The U.S. Treasury Department is responsible for directly distributing American Rescue Plan Act funds to other Upper Peninsula counties in the following amounts:

≤ Alger County, $1,769,122

≤ Baraga County, $1,594,502

≤ Chippewa County, $7,254,605

≤ Delta County, $6,950,623

≤ Dickinson County, $4,902,380

≤ Gogebic County, $2,714,480

≤ Houghton County, $6,931,199

≤ Iron County, $2,149,441

≤ Keweenaw County, $411,008

≤ Luce County, $1,209,910

≤ Mackinac County, $2,097,579

≤ Menominee County, $4,424,748

≤ Ontonagon County, $1,111,043

≤ Schoolcraft County, $1,572,165

In total, ARPA will allocate more than $644 million in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to Michigan’s smaller communities. The U.S. Department of Treasury will release the second half of the award to Michigan later this year, providing communities a second payment once the funds are received from the federal government and appropriated by the Legislature.

The U.S. Treasury Department is responsible for directly distributing $1.8 billion to 49 Michigan metropolitan cities and townships and $1.93 billion to all 83 Michigan counties. The state of Michigan is responsible for distributing federal ARPA dollars to smaller cities, villages and townships, known as Non-Entitlement Units of Local Government.

The Michigan Department of Treasury worked with local government partners and NEUs through webinars, phone calls and certified letters to ensure local officials wouldn’t miss the opportunity to claim their allotted federal funds, officials said. This summer, the Michigan Legislature passed and Whitmer signed into law the bill that appropriated the funds.

Local units of government that have yet to claim their funds still have time to do so. A completed, error-free application must be received by 4 p.m. today.

“I am pleased by the efforts taken by my staff and our local government partners to get these federal dollars into the pockets of our local communities,” Michigan Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said in a statement. “Local units of government should take their time to plan to use these dollars in a viable and sustainable manner that will have a lasting impact. The Michigan Department of Treasury continues to be a resource for helping local officials navigate through the ARPA process.”

The U.S. Treasury Department is responsible for providing rules on how local units of government can spend their ARPA dollars.

Details about the state Treasury Department disbursements to NEUs is available. To learn more about the program, go to Michigan.gov/ARPA.


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