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American Rescue Plan Act

  • The City of Gresham received $25.3 million through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 

    • What is the American Rescue Plan Act?
    • What does it mean for Gresham?
    • What can the funds be used for?
    • What has Council said so far?
    What is the American Rescue Plan Act?

    The purpose of this $1.9 trillion federal stimulus bill is to help communities respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. State and local governments receive money directly to fix budget shortfalls and invest in their communities.

    What does it mean for Gresham?

    The City will receive $25.3 million, to be spent by 2026.

    What can the funds be used for?

    The federal government has rules for how these funds can be used. Categories include:

    • Supporting the public health response.
    • Addressing negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic.
    • Serving the hardest hit communities.
    • Replacing local government revenue loss.
    • Investing in water and sewer infrastructure.
    • Investing in broadband infrastructure.
    • Emergency relief from natural disasters.
    • Transportation projects.
    • Certain community development projects.
    What has Council said so far?

    City Council will consider the following principles when deciding how to invest these funds:

    • Equitable: Benefits the hardest hit residents and businesses.
    • Strategic: Uses one-time funding wisely to provide the largest benefits to the community.
    • Leveraging: Fills a gap where no other COVID recovery funds may exist or complements federal, state or regional ARPA investments.
    • Broad benefits: Considers City and community needs, especially projects that benefit both.
    • High priority: Connects to Strategic Plan priorities adopted by City Council.
  • Council-approved ARPA projects

  • Aldercrest Apartments | $1.2 million loan (reimbursed)

    The state has reimbursed the City for this loan.

    Background: To address housing needs, Council granted an emergency ARPA loan to Human Solutions to save affordable housing provided by the Aldercrest Apartments. The funding agreement allows Human Solutions to purchase, renovate, and develop 68 permanently affordable housing units.

    Attracting Businesses and Jobs | $300,000
    • Economic development strategy to attract retail and commercial investment in Downtown, Civic Neighborhood and future Pleasant Valley areas.
    • Development of required Urban Renewal Plan related to the creation of a potential new district that would include the Civic Neighborhood and Downtown areas.
    Business Grant Program | $515,626
    • Awarded 80 small businesses grants to ease pandemic-related financial impacts on businesses.
    • Fifty percent of the pool was reserved for state-certified women, minority, veteran and emerging businesses. 
    City of Gresham COVID-19 Expenses | $62,000

    Reimbursement for personal protection equipment and supplies for staff providing public services for the community during the pandemic. 

    Community Assistance Grant Program | $350,000

    Awarded funding for nonprofit organizations to provide services to community members negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With a focus on individuals who may be especially susceptible.

    2022 ARPA Community Assistance Grant recipients

    • Birch Community Services – Freezer expansion to store and distribute food: $30,000
    • Boxes of Love – Supporting Gresham’s most vulnerable infants/children in foster care system: $30,000
    • Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce – Tourism/marketing Gresham: $30,000
    • Gresham Historical Society – Gresham public history program: $30,000
    • Kefi Care Programs – Day programs and care for developmental/intellectual disability clients: $30,000
    • Latino Network – COVID-19 response wraparound support: $30,000
    • Meals on Wheels People – Meals 4 Kids: $30,000
    • MetroEast Community Media – Mobile media innovation lab and digital literacy: $30,000
    • My Father’s House – “The Journey” job training program for people with low incomes: $30,000
    • Rockwood CDC – Rockwood English Language Institute for immigrant communities: $20,000
    • Slavic Community Center – Language-specific support for Slavic community in Gresham offering utility and cultural food assistance: $30,000
    • WomensFirst Transition and Referral Center – Serving women and the BIPOC community who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19: $30,000 
    Technology Upgrades | $600,000
    • To finish replacing all City computers, which are out of warranty and contributing to slow and inefficient operations.
    • To complete a mandatory upgrade for critical mapping services for utilities.
    Housing and Houselessness | $750,000
    • Expanded the Homeless Services team.
    • Hired a limited-term housing resources coordinator to connect residents to resources.
    • Included a modest amount of administrative support for nonprofits with City contracts.
    Internal Services | $533,000
    • Provided resources to Human Resources to better manage employee and labor relations.
    • Resources to complete implementation of the City's core financial, human resources and community services system.
    • Temporary outreach assistance related to the adopted Financial Road Map.
    Organizational Stability | $6.2 million
    • Allocated $4.5 million to fill the projected gap between revenue and expenses for the City's fiscal year 2022/23 and 2023/24 budgets.
    • Provided a one-time retention bonus in recognition of service to the community during the pandemic.
    • Granted a modest 3% of APRA funds to cover administrative costs of distributing these funds, following reporting requirements, and administering grant programs.
    Parks and Trails | $2,748,672
    • Leveraged grant funding to complete Gradin Community Sports Park to provide tournament-quality fields as well as playground, pickleball courts and dog park for neighbors.
    • Completed gap in Gresham-Fairview trail between Sandy Boulevard and Halsey Street, improving safety along a high-crash street. A Metro grant covers 85% of the cost; ARPA funds provided a small match required by the grant.
    Public Safety | $5.2 million

    City Council approved:

    • Hiring incentives for Police officers and six non-sworn Police positions to address the rise in violent crime across the region.
    • Safety equipment and training.
    • Adding four firefighter-paramedic limited-term positions.
    • Fire Department COVID-19 related overtime during the pandemic.
    • Four Police Community Safety Specialists, trained civilian positions who can handle non-violent police calls, such as property crime reports, directing traffic and community relations.
    • Twenty-four Police community safety missions to reduce gun violence and vehicle theft.
    • Temporary grant writing support to secure more outside funding.
    • Fire station safety improvements.
    Planning for the Future | $727,000
    • Update the 2002 Pleasant Valley 2002 concept plan.
    • Update the Comprehensive plan. 
    • Develop a community center feasibility study.
    Utility Assistance Program | $220,000

    More funding to meet a higher need for utility bill help while the community recovers from the pandemic.

    Youth Violence Prevention Program | $1 million

    To address public safety, Council granted ARPA funding to focus on the rise in violence our community has experienced the past year. Funds will primarily go to culturally specific community-based organizations that specialize in providing services for youth and young adults in Gresham. Includes support for more positive recreational and social engagement activities. 

  • Next steps

    The City has $6 million in ARPA funds to allocate by the end of 2024. Staff will return to Council this winter to seek direction on the strategy for spending these funds.