American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds

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The City of Falls Church will receive over $18 million in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) through the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. (For brevity, the City will refer to this as ARPA.) Learn more about ARPA, the City’s plan to use about $1 million in funding now, and how the community can help the City prioritize how to spend the remaining funds.

The intent of this one-time funding is for the City to spend it in ways that improve quality of life in the City of Falls Church, for the city’s immediate recovery needs, and as a long-term investment for tomorrow.  City staff will provide regular updates to City Council with progress on the projects.

What is ARPA?

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law by President Biden in March 2021. It guarantees direct relief to cities, towns and villages in the United States. The U.S. Department of the Treasury is responsible for overseeing this program.

The five categories of projects and programs that qualify for ARPA funding are ones that: 

  • Support public health expenditures;
  • Address the negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency;
  • Replace lost public sector revenue;
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers; and.
  • Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

How Much Money will the City of Falls Church Receive and When?

  • $18 Million Total: The City will receive $18,004,561 in ARPA funding. The City qualifies for two portions: $2,839,181 directly from the federal government as an independent city and $15,165,381 through Virginia for “non-entitled local government units that have population below 50,000.”
  • Half Received Now, Second Half Expected in 2022: The first half of $9,002,281 was received in June 2021, and the second half with the remaining $9,002,281 should be received in July 2022.
  • Encumber by December 2024, Spend by December 2026: The City has until December 2024 to make a plan (encumber) the funds and until December 2026 to spend the funds.

How Can the City Spend ARPA Funds?

As with all grant funding, there are restrictions on how the money can be spent. The five basic categories are:

  1. Support public health expenditures;
  2. Address the negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency;
  3. Replace lost public sector revenue;
  4. Provide premium pay for essential workers; and.
  5. Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

Restrictions on the funding are complex. The U.S. Department of the Treasury details the restrictions through several documents and an FAQ, all of which are linked on this page.

Using $1 Million for Immediate Needs (Summer 2021)

At the August 9 City Council meeting (video and materials), staff proposed using $1,061,500, or 5.9 percent of the total, for immediate needs in general government, public schools, and stormwater. Council is scheduled to hold a Second Reading at the September 13, 2021 meeting. The ordinance includes (see full document here): 

  • $126,500 for assistance to residents (food, rent, dental care, implement SNAP at the Farmers Market, etc.)
  • $100,000 for testing and vaccination public outreach and interpretation assistance
  • $100,000 for public communications on COVID-19 safety and vaccination
  • $65,000 for technology improvements to enable work from home and videoconferencing
  • $60,000 for City facility improvements (touchless fixtures in bathrooms and water fountains, drop boxes, etc.)
  • $100,000 for 20 MPH speed signs on residential streets for increased pedestrian activity
  • $60,000 for financial and grant administration
  • $150,000 for mental health professionals in the public schools
  • $100,000 for testing and vaccinations in the public schools
  • $200,000 for stormwater projects

How to Comment on the City's Use of ARPA Funds

The City welcomes input on the use of the remaining ARPA funds. Watch for meetings, surveys, and more in the autumn of 2021. To receive notifications about public input opportunities, subscribe here

To submit a comment about ARPA funds now, please email publicinfo@fallschurchva.gov.

Meetings and Events

Meeting Information Details
City Council Virtual Work Session
August 2, 2021
Discussion of TO21-13, an ordinance to approve spending $1,061,500 of ARPA funding on immediate projects.

Video and Materials
City Council Virtual Meeting
August 9, 2021
First Reading of TO21-13, an ordinance to approve spending $1,061,500 of ARPA funding on immediate projects.

Video and Materials
City Council Virtual Meeting
Monday, September 13, 2021 at 7:30pm
Expected Agenda Item: Second Reading of TO21-13, an ordinance to approve spending $1,061,500 of ARPA funding on immediate projects.

Live Stream, or watch on FCCTV (Cox channel 11, RCN channel 2, Verizon channel 35). Sign up to speak at the meeting during Public Comment.