Use of State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds under ARPA

Matthew H. Hymel, County Administrator

The County of Marin will receive $50,273,916 in federal State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) as part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The County's $50.2m of SLFRF funding must be expended between March 6, 2021 and December 31, 2024. It is important to note that SLFRF is just one of a number of stimulus funding programs under ARPA, and the County does receive separate ARPA funding for other specific County programs unrelated to SLFRF.

During the FY 2021-22 budget process, the Board of Supervisors identified the following eight priority spending areas for approximately half of the County's $50.2 million in SLFRF funding ($25 million):

  • Racial equity initiatives
  • Climate change and sea level rise projects
  • Permanent supportive housing
  • Fire Department facility improvements
  • City and Town partnerships to address homelessness and mental health
  • Childcare and early education initiatives
  • Enhanced funding for non-profit partners 
  • Emergency preparedness improvements

The County’s focus in each of the priority areas outlined above will be to target support in areas where the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated racial, health, economic, social and education inequities. It is important to note that not only will racial equity be a standalone spending area (as listed above) but will be a key element of all identified spending areas. For instance, sea level rise and a lack of permanent supportive housing disproportionately affects Marin County’s low-income residents, and residents of color. The County’s Racial Equity Action Plan continues to guide the County's work in advancing racial equity in all aspects of County operations.

The remaining half of SLFRF funds ($25 million) will be prioritized as part of the FY 2022-24 budget process, and finalized in June 2022. Initial spending plan recommendations include additional funding for homelessness and permanent supportive housing, expanded programs in underserved areas, climate change initiatives, broadband investments, economic recovery and continued pandemic response.

The County's planned use of SLFRF funds

Final guidance on how local governments may use SLFRF funding was published in the U.S. Department of the Treasury Final Rule [31 CFR Part 35], issued in November 2021 and finalized in January 2022. The Final Rule specifies that local governments may use these stimulus funds for a broad category of needs – recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of daily life for Americans: from the economy, education, mental and physical health, food security, childcare, to housing and homelessness.

However, there are extensive reporting requirements for any direct use of SLFRF funds. This includes quarterly expenditure reports submitted to the U.S. Treasury detailing all goods and materials procured, subcontracted awards and compliance with federal employment, procurement, and construction regulations and standards for all expenses. Therefore, for administrative efficiency, the County of Marin has opted to identify three qualifying "projects" that will directly make use of the entire $50.2 million SLFRF allocation. The County will then repurpose the proceeds of local funds towards the Board of Supervisors directed eight priority spending areas listed above. 

The goal of this strategy is to a) ensure swift application and use of the stimulus funds toward the local community’s highest priorities; b) ensure full and incontestable adherence to eligible use of funds as defined by U.S. Treasury in the Final Rule; and c) minimize the County’s administrative burden in required federal reporting for $50.2 million of expenditures.

Direct use of SLFRF funding

The County Administrator’s Budget Office has analyzed the Final Rule guidance issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and identified three projects which will make direct use of the $50.2 million in SLFRF funds (listed below). Note: all required federal reporting to the U.S. Treasury on the use of the County’s federal SLFRF funds received will be for these three projects.

Directly-funded projects Funding
1: Public Health Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic $32,649,752
2: Public Sector Workforce Capacity $7,624,164
3: Revenue Replacement $10,000,000
Total $50,273,916 

Indirect use of SLFRF funding

The eight Board of Supervisors identified priority spending areas listed will make indirect use of the stimulus funds. Projects within priority-spending areas will be supported by the proceeds of local funds that result from the County applying all direct SLFRF funds to: Public Health Response, Public Sector Workforce Capacity, and Revenue Replacement.

As the Board of Supervisors approves projects within the eight priority spending areas, they will be added to this page as indirect beneficiaries of the County’s receipt of SLFRF funding.

Indirectly-funded projects

Project:                                  Santa Venetia flood control levee

Amount:                                 $1,000,000

Board priority area:              Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

Related Board date:              August 24, 2021

This project reduces the threat from tidal flooding for Santa Venetia from Gallinas Creek, and prepares for near-term sea level rise. This flood protection project benefits 660 parcels, largely single-family homes, county roads, stormwater pump stations and infrastructure, parks and six sanitary sewer lift stations. The levee protects water quality by keeping floodwaters out of the community, where it could be contaminated by sewage or hazardous household chemicals. Additionally, the upgraded levee can be adapted to additional sea level rise as its height can be elevated

Project:                                  Matching funds for homeless services

Amount:                                $500,000

Board priority area:              City and Town partnerships to address homelessness and mental health

Related Board date(s):          December 14, 2021, March 15, 2022

The County has approved the use of $500,000 to be used as matching funds to support the efforts of San Rafael, Novato and Sausalito to manage encampment and homelessness in their jurisdictions. The County is responsible for safety net services, including behavioral health treatment and employment supports, as well as inter-jurisdictional coordination and administrative leadership. Cities, like the County in unincorporated areas, are responsible for ensuring that adequate affordable housing (including housing affordable to people with extremely low incomes) is available within their jurisdictions and for resolving issues of public safety, including those arising in homeless encampments.

To help support the new efforts of the Cities of San Rafael, Novato, and Sausalito to manage encampment issues and homelessness within their jurisdictions, the $500,000 matching funds are provided to cities to be utilized for encampment security, camp management, sanitation services, and outreach or other services.

Funds are not meant to supplant existing city salaries or programs, but rather to support enhanced homeless services to effectively respond to the impacts of COVID-19. Services shall be provided in accordance with housing first, cultural humility, and trauma-informed principles and cities are encouraged to coordinate their efforts with the existing homelessness system of care in Marin.

Project:                                  Sea Level Rise & Climate Change adaption projects

Amount:                               $4,000,000

Board priority area:              Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

Related Board date:             December 14, 2021

The recommended mitigation projects funded by the $4 million were identified in the Climate Action Plan 2030 and Drawdown Marin Strategic Plan. The projects are focused on smaller scale, high emission reduction potential projects that address the three largest sectors accounting for the County’s community GHG emissions (transportation, agriculture, and natural gas), and could be developed and launched within one year.

Adaptation projects reflect countywide priorities as well as a range of project phases: construction, design, and planning studies/engagement. The projects span the county and largely reflect nature-based adaptation measures that plan for sea level rise and improve diverse habitats and wildlife.

For full list of projects funded with the $4 million, see December 14, 2021 Board letter.

Project:                                 Legal services to tenants to prevent evictions

Amount:                               $258,000

Board priority area:              Racial equity initiatives

Related Board date:             March 15, 2022

The $258,000 contract with Legal Aid of Marin provides free housing-related legal services to low and extremely low-income residents countywide. In 2021, Legal Aid of Marin received more than 1,200 calls, and provided direct legal support to 400 Marin residents. The contract provides for weekly remote eviction clinics, community engagement for in-person and remote trainings, negotiation services with landlords, and navigation and representation for tenants in court.

Project:                                  Countywide Childcare Investments

Amount:                               $525,000

Board priority area:              Childcare and early education initiatives

Related Board date:             April 26, 2022

The approved contract with First 5 Marin provides for substantial local investments in teacher recruitment and retention, safety-net navigation, and early childhood mental health services. In total, $1 million in funding is to be allocated towards childcare investment initiatives -- and the remaining $475,000 will be proposed next spring 2023.

 

SLFRF expenditure reporting to the U.S. Treasury

The County, along with all State and local jurisdictions, is required to submit an annual Recovery Plan report to the U.S. Department of the Treasury detailing both how expended funds were used, and how future funds are planned to be spent. All annual reports will also be published and made available to the public on this webpage, www.marincounty.org/COVIDrecovery.

Schedule of the reporting period and Recovery Plan reports (completed reports are linked):

 Annual Recovery Plan Report Period Covered Report Date
1 Award date - July 31, 2021 August 31, 2021
2 July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022 July 31, 2022
3 July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 July 31, 2023
4 July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024 July 31, 2024
5 July 1, 2024 - June 30, 2025 July 31, 2025
6 July 1, 2025 - June 30, 2026 July 31, 2026
7 July 1, 2026 - December 31, 2026 March 31, 2027

In addition to annual reports published on this page, the County submits detailed quarterly expenditure reports directly to the U.S. Treasury through the SLFRF reporting portal.