New website will host initial Recovery Plan submission to the U.S. Department of Treasury, accept public feedback on spending priorities
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball launched a new website to provide information, accept feedback and track progress on the management of the $63.2 million American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding granted to Howard County by the U.S. Department of Treasury in June. In the interest of transparency, the website will provide access to all reports submitted by the County to the Department of Treasury, provide a portal to accept comments on spending priorities from the community, and connect the public to important guidance on federal ARP efforts.
Howard County is poised to emerge from the pandemic stronger than before and thrive. Through our extensive efforts we’ve identified critical areas of investment that will benefit all of our residents. This website is a vital source of information for our residents, and an opportunity to provide feedback on how these funds are allocated. Our road to recovery is not a straight path, but hope is on the horizon and we are confident that through our extensive community engagement process and thoughtful approach to relief funding, we will set Howard County on a successful path forward.
County Executive Ball also released the County’s initial Recovery Plan submission to Treasury, the first of seven required annual Recovery Plan submissions to Treasury prior to the December 31, 2026 deadline to complete all work and expend all funds. The initial Recovery Plan submission covers all activity from the date of the award through July 31, 2021.
The vision laid out in the initial Recovery Plan submission builds on the recommendations laid out in the HoCo RISE Collaborative Report, which outlined a path forward for continued response and recovery from the pandemic this past March. Launched in November 2020, the 50-member HoCo RISE Collaborative provided guidance on the County’s public health response, government response, jobs and the economy, education and workforce and family opportunities.
The launch of the American Rescue Plan website and submission of the initial Recovery Plan follows months of effort to ensure the availability of funds for the County’s continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, with the intent of providing support to State, local, and Tribal governments in responding to the impact of COVID-19 and containing COVID-19 within their communities, residents, and businesses. On June 21, 2021, the County Council unanimously approved an emergency appropriation accepting the first half ($31.6 million) of the County’s $63.2 million American Rescue Plan allocation.
Since late June, the County has been actively engaged in assessing evolving federal eligibility guidelines and developing proposals for spending American Rescue Plan funding, with over 200 proposals currently being evaluated at a value of nearly $200 million. The launch of the American Rescue Plan website marks the beginning of County efforts to engage the community on the highest and best uses of available funding, with plans being finalized to collect survey data, conduct public hearings and engage with relevant stakeholder groups, including the County Council, in the coming weeks.