Township information and resources on the American Rescue Plan Act
There is still time for your township to access its allocation of funding through the American Rescue Plan Act. And while you need to act quickly, MTA is here to answer any questions or concerns and to help make the process as easy as possible.
Watch NOW! MTA Q&A: What We Know Now about American Rescue Plan Funding (recorded on July 15)
Download the handouts from the webinar here.
Special thanks to our Q & A Sponsors!
- Tips for Townships from Michigan Department of Treasury as you apply to accept ARPA funding
All townships that have requested or are planning to request their allocation of ARPA funds must have a "Federal Procurement Conflict of Interest Policy" in place. The policy applies when procuring goods (apparatus, supplies, materials and equipment), services, and construction or repair projects funded in part or whole with federal financial assistance (direct or reimbursed), and also prohibits the receiving of gifts from suppliers, contactors, etc. for such purchases or projects. If your township has not already adopted such a policy, we recommend that you do so at your next upcoming board meeting. A sample policy is available here (a Microsoft Word version is also available).
- Submitted your application, but need to make an adjustment? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your township's application reopened.
- Video tutorial: Need some help preparing for the application process? Check out this brief video from MTA's Director of Member Information Services, Mike Selden, on the forms and information you'll need ready to apply for ARPA funds.
- MTA FACT SHEET: How Can Townships Use American Rescue Act Funds?
Step-by-step resources on submitting your township's request for funds: MTA video, with Meridian Charter Township (Ingham Co.) Finance Director Miriam Mattison; Instructions guide, created by Chocolay Charter Township (Marquette Co.) Manager Bill De Groot; and Michigan Department of Treasury application video instructions and written instructions
- Revenue loss is a hugely flexible use for ARPA funds! State Treasury recommends that ALL township run their revenue loss (even if you think you didn't lose revenue due to COVID), as it is likely, based on the formula that you will have loss. ARPA funds can then be used for most current government services. Calculators to determine revenue loss are available here and here.
- Michigan Department of Treasury guidance on calculation pre-pandemic (top-line) budget
- Listing of townships with Qualified Census Tracts. Communities with QCTs have additional uses for ARPA funds to help offset impacts of the pandemic on certain populations, including low-income communities.
- Townships and Broadband Internet
U.S. Treasury Compliance and Reporting Guidance (released June 17)
NOW OPEN! Townships can NOW submit their request to receive American Rescue Plan funds
The online application system, through the state of Michigan's Elite system, is NOW OPEN to request your township’s allocation of Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund dollars through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). All but eight of Michigan’s townships are considered nonentitlement units (NEUs) and must submit a request to the state Department of Treasury to receive their funding. As we have shared in our Township Focus magazine and Township Insights weekly enewsletter, and eblasts to members, ALL townships can receive this money. In order to do so, however, you must submit your request and additional required documentation to the state. Your township does not need to indicate how you intend to use the funds at this time—but this is the only time your township can request the funds. While the state asked that all requests be submitted by July 27, Treasury has told MTA that they will continue to accept the requests at least through the end of this week, and possibly longer. If you have already started the application process in the state’s online portal, please continue to complete your application.
What you need to do to apply
To request the funding, you must log on to Treasury's Elite system portal and select "ARPA CLFRF Request." If you do not have a login for the system, select "Request Access New User."
State Treasury’s ARPA website (www.michigan.gov/arpa) outlines the information and documents needed to apply for your township’s allocation. All application documents must be saved as PDFs and uploaded during the submission process. The data entered into the ELITE system must match the data entered on all forms or your submission will be denied (i.e., chief administrative officer name does not match), and resubmission will be required.
In addition to an authorized township representative (the supervisor or manager), and a contact person and contact information, the township must also submit:
2) A Funding Election and Budget Certification Form (Form 5751) to elect to receive funding and certify your township’s pre-pandemic budget amount. Townships also have two additional options on the form: Option 2, decline the funding and request it be sent back to the state, or Option 3, choose neither, which allows Treasury to reallocate the funding to other applicable NEUs. MTA strongly encourages all townships to request their allocation, but if you choose not to accept, please consider selecting Option 3 so the funding remains at the local level. Option 2 returns the money to state coffers for the Legislature to determine funding priorities through the typical state budget appropriation process.
3) Award Terms and Conditions Agreement (completed by the supervisor, as “chief administrative officer” of the township, or manager if the township has one) A version of this form with active links is available here.
4) Assurances of Compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (completed by the supervisor, as “chief administrative officer” of the township, or manager if the township has one)
5) Pre-pandemic budget amount (top-line budget) as of Jan. 27, 2020. This includes all budgeted expenditures (including other financing uses) for the general, special revenue, debt service, capital projects and permanent funds, including transfers out for enterprise funds. This calculation includes all governmental and enterprise funds, but excludes internal service and fiduciary funds. Allocations are based on this amount, with a maximum up to 75%. Treasury Numbered Letter 2021-5 outlines what can be included in this budget figure. Townships are required to maintain a back-up copy of budget documentation.
6) Active free SAM.gov account on the Federal System for Award Management (SAM.gov accounts must be renewed annually)7) Verify your township’s banking information in the State Accounting System (SIGMA). This is the system by which townships receive their revenue sharing payments from the state
MTA strongly encourages all townships to accept the funding, which has very broad flexibility for its uses and does not have to be obligated until Dec. 31, 2024. The funds will be helpful in shoring up, expanding or simply funding your local services. State Treasury, for example, believes that most local units of government—using the formula for revenue loss—will have demonstrable lost revenue due to the pandemic. By showing lost revenue, your township can use the funds on most current township services.
This is the ONLY time that your township can make its choice about requesting the dollars. There is great flexibility in how the dollars can be used, and the money does not have to be committed until the end of 2024. There is time to make those decisions—but there is not time to waste in choosing to apply. Your township’s decision will be final and cannot be changed at a later date.Treasury expects that local governments will receive their initial payment within roughly two weeks of applying. It is important to remember that the funding will be delivered in two tranche payments: the first now, and the second no later than a year after the initial allocation—so likely summer 2022.
Michigan Department of Treasury ARPA Webinar and Presentation
National Association of Towns and Townships webinar recording: Guidance on ARPA's State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds
The National Association of Towns and Townships (NATaT) hosted a webinar offering guidance on the American Rescue Plan Act’s pandemic relief resources for townships. This video will help you understand how local fiscal recovery funds can be accessed and spent. MTA will be hosting additional webinars and will continue to share information as it becomes available.
American Rescue Plan Act provides federal aid to local governments
All but eight Michigan townships are considered nonentitlement units of government (NEUs)—communities under 50,000 population—and must request to receive their share of $644 million in funding through the state of Michigan. Allocations are based on relative population counts with a maximum based on 75% of the local government’s budget—both general fund and all other funds—as of Jan. 27, 2020 (pre-pandemic annual budget).
Townships will have to submit periodic reports to the state on the use of the funds. The first report will be due to the state on Oct. 31, 2021; reporting guidelines have yet to be released.
Helpful resources from U.S. Treasury include:
Inside the ARPA
The ARPA contains $1.9 trillion for the coronavirus relief package with $350 billion allocated for state, local and tribal governments to mitigate the fiscal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide vital services. Local governments can use ARPA funds to cover costs incurred by Dec. 31, 2024, to:
• Provide government services affected by a revenue reduction during the pandemic (in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency); thus, a local unit may use the money to replace the amount of revenue lost during the pandemic compared to the prior full fiscal year
• Make necessary investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure
• Respond to the COVID-19 emergency and address its negative economic impacts, including aid to households, small businesses, nonprofits, and industries such as tourism and hospitality
• Provide premium pay—up to $13 an hour or $25,000 per worker—in additional wages for essential employees performing an essential function in the pandemic
The ARPA prohibits the use of the funds for pension or to offset revenue loss due to a tax cut.
The ARPA also includes $10 billion to states for a Critical Infrastructure Projects Program, with Michigan expected to receive $250 million. The monies are to be used for projects that would directly enable work, education and health monitoring—including remote options—in response to COVID-19. Examples provided during the legislative discussion included water, sewer and broadband.
Watch MTA publications for continued information as it becomes available. We will share updated guidance via our website, Township Insights enewsletter, and Facebook and Twitter pages. In addition, a free MTA Q&A webinar is in the works and will be offered shortly.