American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Information

What is ARPA? The American Rescue Plan Act is a $1.9 trillion federal rescue plan that was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March 2021 and aims to support governments by providing a substantial infusion of resources to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency, address its economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery.  Funding is subject to the requirements of the Final Rule adopted by the US Treasury. The City of Rock Island received $26.5 million from the overall federal allocation to states, local, territorial, and tribal governments of $350 billion. All ARPA funding must be allocated by December 31, 2024 and expended by December 31, 2026.   

The U.S. Department of Treasury Criteria and Guidelines for spending ARPA dollars:

  • Public Health Funding  (Examples: vaccinations and testing; capital investments and improvements to public facilities that respond to COVID-19 public health; mental health services; community violence intervention programs)
  • Negative Economic Impacts  (Examples: affordable housing; child care assistance; industry assistance; placemaking; assistance to businesses, tourism and nonprofits) 
  • Premium Pay for Essential Workers (Example: public sector employees such as police and fire)
  • Water, Sewer, and Broadband Infrastructure (Examples: wastewater treatment; lead remediation; drinking water treatment; sewer infrastructure; broadband expansion)
  • Lost Public Sector Revenue/Revenue Replacement  Cannot be used towards pension liabilities, debt service, rainy day funds, or to offset tax revenue.  (Example: capital improvement projects)

What ARPA Funds CANNOT be spent onPension Costs; Offset reduction in net tax revenue: Non-federal match for grants and other sources; Rainy Day Funds; General Infrastructure (unless specified) e.g. road repairs; Debt Service; and Legal Settlements or Judgements. 


In June 2022 the Rock Island City Council adopted the following ARPA Guiding Principles to assist the public, the ARPA Program Manager, City staff, and other stakeholders in understanding the expectations on how these funds should be utilized:

  • Infrastructure projects should benefit residents and reduce future financial liabilities.
  • Funding decisions should align with community needs.
  • Projects should demonstrate tangible and intangible returns on investment.
  • Funds should be leveraged strategically to maximize projects.
  • Investments should be made in economic development to attract and retain businesses.