Hillsborough County has approved a list of projects to benefit infrastructure, affordable housing, fire rescue and food-insecure households to be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act – Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (‘ARPA Funds’).
The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, which approved the county’s general ARPA Funds investment plan, called the Hillsborough County ARP Investment Plan (the ‘Investment Plan’) on September 1, approved funding for six Investment Plan projects during its regular board meeting on November 3.
The approved projects appropriate more than $103 million received from the federal program and targets long-term investments to promote community health and stability.
A large portion of the funds will be allocated to essential infrastructure programs such as septic-to-sewer conversions, which protect groundwater in parts of the county that were developed before the county had wastewater services, and stormwater drainage programs.
Other funding allocations will help the county address social issues such as food insecurity and homelessness, including the purchase of a 36-unit apartment building in the University Area to provide affordable housing opportunities for residents emerging from homelessness.
Funding also has been allocated for Hillsborough County Fire Rescue to implement a new station alerting system to replace outdated alerting and dispatching technology in the county’s 44 fire stations.
The county projects must fit guidelines established by the federal government but will also address the County’s unique community needs and economic ecosystem characteristics and reflect the board of county commissioners’ collective values in addressing residents’ needs.
The recently approved projects fall under four of the five categories set out in the Investment Plan: Water, Sewer and Broadband Infrastructure, which will provide necessary investments in projects that improve access to clean drinking water and improve wastewater and stormwater infrastructure systems; Public Health Response, which provides resources to meet and address the emergent public health needs; Negative Economic Impacts, which assists households or populations affected by the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency; and Revenue Replacement-Funded Government Services, which provides government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The county will continue to review and approve projects over the next three years until the entire $285 million that was received through the ARPA Funds is fully allocated, which must be done by December 2024.
For more information, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.