Milwaukee County is expected to directly receive an allocation of $183 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. We have already received half of this allocation ($92 million) and we are expecting to receive the other half in May of 2022.
The ARPA funding we will receive is much less than the estimated $300 to $400 million total revenue that Milwaukee County will lose between 2021-2024.
The ARPA Task Force is a cross-section of Milwaukee County leaders who are in the best position to make informed recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on how to spend our ARPA funding.
The ARPA Task Force is charged with:
- Creating a process to broadly engage the public and ensure diverse input and ideas from Milwaukee County residents
- Determining the evaluation criteria for proposed projects, programs, and services in accordance with the guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury
- Monitoring the progress and reporting of funded projects, programs, and services
- Measuring the impact of ARPA spending and investments
Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marceila Nicholson created the ARPA Task Force.
Milwaukee County values transparency and accountability and the Task Force will ensure the public has full access to our decisions about how we spend our ARPA funds.
Residents can check this website for the most up-to-date information.
The ARPA Task Force meetings are available through the Milwaukee County Legislative Information Center (CLIC), including audio and video live streams and recordings, materials and minutes.
Health and civic engagement are directly linked. When a culture of health exists, people care about their communities and are more motivated to participate.
Milwaukee County having a robust community engagement strategy in place for economic stimulus spending means we will be able to:
We have fairly broad discretion over how we spend our ARPA resources, but there are constraints. The Act requires that spending be used for four general purposes:
- To respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts
- To respond to workers performing essential work during COVID-19 through the provision of premium pandemic pay or grants to workers
- For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction of revenue due to COVID-19, including lost revenues
- To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure
Much of our spending has to be focused on costs we have and continue to incur as a result of the pandemic, including COVID-19 safety and protective purchases, COVID-19 related revenue losses, vaccine distribution and COVID-19 testing, increased need/demand for community and economic support programs, and IT and remote work-related investments so we could continue to function at a high level throughout the pandemic.
Everything we do in Milwaukee County is guided by our vision of achieving racial equity and becoming the healthiest county in Wisconsin.
In the United States, COVID-19 has disproportionately affected underserved communities, where individuals who are non-Hispanic Black and Latinx are more than twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to die from COVID-19. This stark disparity underscores important medical, social, economic, environmental, and political contexts that predate the COVID-19 pandemic.
All proposed ARPA projects, programs, and services must align with our Racial Equity Framework and demonstrate how they will advance our County’s health and racial equity goals.