American Rescue Plan Act

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Pierce County Council 

Staff Contact

Paul Bocchi, Senior Budget Analyst

[email protected]


Pierce County received $175 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds May 10, 2021. In anticipation of receiving the ARPA funds, the Pierce County Council acted April 27 with adoption of ordinance 2021-32, which allocated an initial $50.5 million of the anticipated funds. Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier signed the ordinance April 29; it took effect immediately.

Economic stabilization topped the list of emergency funding needs, followed by support for entrepreneurship and technical assistance grants with a focus on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, assistance for housing and homelessness programs, support for local food banks, funding for summer jobs programs and allocations for summer youth to support sending children to camp over the summer.

Roughly $37 million remains to be allocated in the first round of ARPA funding. Next Council will tackle mid- and long-term needs facing the county with a focus on allocating monies to make sustainable improvements.

Programs and funding allocations outlined in ordinance 2021-32 were informed by a proposal submitted by Executive Dammeier, Councilmember requests and feedback from community leaders.

As was done with the CARES Act funds, ARPA allocations and expenditures will be fully reported and displayed by the Finance Department on the County’s Open Pierce County dashboard.

Blue icon of paper with pencil

View ordinance 2021-32, the adopted ARPA funding allocations begin in page 11.

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Read the press release following Council adoption of ordinance 2021-32.

What is ARPA?

Signed into law on March 11, 2021, The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) provides $350 billion in funding to state, local and Tribal governments to meet pandemic response needs and rebuild a stronger, more equitable economy as the country recovers. 

The total amount dedicated to counties across the country is $65.1 billion. Pierce County’s share is $175 million, with the first half (roughly $88 billion) allocated now and the remaining half allocated in May 2022. The money must be spent by the end of 2024.

Eligibility requirements

Congress was clear in its passage of ARPA that its Fiscal Recovery Funds be spent within four eligible categories:

  • Public Health emergency response and economic impacts.
  • Provide premium pay to essential workers.
  • Cover eligible government revenue losses due to the COVID-19 emergency.
  • Invest in infrastructure like water, sewer and broadband.

Restrictions include:

  • Money cannot be used to directly or indirectly offset tax reductions or delay a tax or tax increase.
  • Money cannot be deposited into a pension fund.

View the U.S. Treasury Department fact sheet on ARPA Fiscal Recovery Funds.

Pierce County Council ARPA meetings

Meeting Meeting materials Video/audio recordings
Committee of the Whole, April 1, 2021 Agenda packet April 1, 2021 meeting
Committee of the Whole, April 8, 2021 Agenda packet April 8, 2021 meeting
Committee of the Whole, April 22,2021 Agenda packet April 22, 2021 meeting
Council Regular Meeting, April 27, 2021 Agenda packet April 27, 2021 meeting
Committee of the Whole, May 20, 2021 (1 p.m.) Agenda packet May 20, 2021 meeting