City Of FDL Set to Receive $14.2 Million From American Rescue Plan Act

The first of two $7.1 million payments to the City of Fond du Lac as part of the nationwide American Rescue Plan Act is set to arrive within the next few weeks.

The Act was signed into law on March 11, 2021 as part of a $1.9 trillion total package, with $130 billion earmarked for aid for local governments. The main purpose of the funding was to assist in economic relief from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a presentation Wednesday night, Deputy Comptroller Tricia Davi told the Fond du Lac City Council that the funds must be used by December 31, 2024 and the US Treasury Department will be issuing regulations to clarify the broad terms of the Act. That information is expected to be delivered to local governments by mid-May.

The City will need to submit periodic reports to the Secretary of the Treasury detailing how funds have been used, and may be forced to repay any improperly used funds.

According to the presentation, the funds can be used to respond to the pandemic or its negative economic impacts on the community as a whole, premium pay for essential workers, reimbursement of lost local government revenue, to the extent the reduction is due to the pandemic. The funds could also be used for necessary investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. The funds are not allowed to be used to pay into pension plans for government employees.

According to City staff, the payments locally could go to expanding public WiFi within the city of Fond du Lac, updating the Emergency Operations plan, maximize water and sewer infrastructure work to address deferred maintenance, as well as working on getting residents back into open, safe spaces. The funds could also be used to as reimbursement of lost revenue.

However, the final choices will depend on the US Treasury guidelines.