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Posted on: September 29, 2021

Public Hearing 10/19 on Use of American Rescue Plan Act Funds

The Bar Harbor Town Council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Building Council Chambers to hear comments on the use of $587,082 in recovery funds the town will receive under the U.S. American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 to replace lost revenues and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The payment is split into two tranches, with the first payment of $293,541 arriving in September 2021 and the second payment of an equal amount scheduled to arrive no sooner than June 2022. ARPA funds must be obligated no later than December 31, 2024. Funds must be spent no later than December 31, 2026.

Funds can generally be spent in the following categories:

  • Supporting the public health response
  • Addressing negative economic impacts 
  • Replacing public sector revenue loss 
  • Premium pay for essential workers 
  • Water, sewer, broadband infrastructure

Funds can generally not be used for:

  • Reducing taxes
  • Depositing extraordinary funds into a pension account
  • Certain non-federal matches
  • Debt Service
  • Legal Settlements
  • Rainy Day Funds
  • Infrastructure outside of water/sewer/broadband, or revenue loss to infrastructure projects
  • General economic development or workforce development unless related to the pandemic Guidance Documents

For more guidance on the use of ARPA funds, see the Maine Municipal Association website: memun.org/ARPA-Resources

 The following is the Town Council’s process for determining use of ARPA funds:

 1. Identify Town needs – October 2021

  • Town staff will perform an audit of losses to the town 
  • Town staff will identify further response measures necessary to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Conduct a Public Hearing on October 19 to solicit comment and requests

2. Review and Categorize Requests – November 2021

  • Close requests October 31, 2021
  • Council holds a workshop or discusses at a regular meeting in November/December to discuss requests
  • Organize requests into qualified categories
  • Receive ongoing public comments at Council meetings

Call the Town Clerk at 207-288-4098 for more information.

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