The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

Aerial view of the city of Lowell

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) created the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program to deliver $350 billion to state, territories, municipalities, counties, and tribal governments much needed aid to assist with meeting the following key objectives:


  1. To support the urgent COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease the spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control.
  2. To replace lost revenue for eligible recipients to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs.
  3. To support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses.
  4. To address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the unequal impact of the pandemic on certain populations.


As a recipient of an SLFRF award, the City of Lowell has some discretion to use the award funds in the ways that best suit the needs of our constituents – as long as such use fits into one of the above categories.


Per the U. S. Treasury, eligible expenses must: (1) be incurred between March 3, 2021 and December 31, 2026 (with certain expenses, under specific circumstances, being eligible back to March, 2020), and (2) must fall into one of the following categories:


  • Support the Public Health Response to the Pandemic
    Fund COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, and certain public health and safety staff.
  • Address the Negative Economic Impacts from the Pandemic
    Respond to economic harms to workers, families, small businesses, impacted industries, and the public sector.
  • Improve Water and Sewer Infrastructure
    Make necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water and invest in wastewater and storm water infrastructure.
  • Provide Premium Pay for Essential Workers
    Offer additional support to those who have and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors.
  • Invest in Broadband Infrastructure
    Make necessary investments to provide unserved or underserved locations with new or expanded broadband access.
  • Replace Public Sector Revenue Losses
    Use funds to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic.