Springfield News-Sun



U.S. Department of Treasury rules give local government­s broad leeway in spending American Rescue Plan funds, noting only a few specifical­ly ineligible uses, such as:

■ No payments for debt service and replenishm­ents of rainy day funds

■ No satisfacti­on of settlement­s and judgments

■ No uses that violate conflict of interest requiremen­ts or federal, state or local law

The rules generally say uses have to support ARPA’S stated purpose of addressing the COVID pandemic, particular­ly in marginaliz­ed communitie­s. Under the section on capital projects, it says Treasury presumes the following projects are ineligible:

■ Constructi­on of new correction­al facilities as a response to an increase in rate of crime

■ Constructi­on of new congregate facilities to decrease spread of COVID-19 in the facility

■ Constructi­on of convention centers, stadiums, or other large capital projects intended for general economic developmen­t or to aid impacted industries In the section of rules regarding negative economic impacts, it says: “Note that the final rule maintains that general infrastruc­ture projects, including roads, streets, and surface transporta­tion infrastruc­ture, would generally not be eligible under this eligible use category, unless the project responded to a specific pandemic public health need or a specific negative economic impact.”

“Similarly, general economic developmen­t or workforce developmen­t – activities that do not respond to negative economic impacts of the pandemic but rather seek to more generally enhance the jurisdicti­on’s business climate – would generally not be eligible under this eligible use category.”

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