ARPA Research

ICMA surveyed local government chief administrative officers (CAOs) in September 2021 about their priorities for utilizing the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)’s Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (FRF). Nearly 600 town, city, and county managers responded. Responses include local governments with populations ranging from less than 2,500 to over one million; two-thirds came from communities of 25,000 or fewer residents, which fall under the U.S. Treasury definition of “Non-entitlement Units” (NEUs, i.e., local governments typically serving a population of under 50,000). Direct FRF recipients include counties and metropolitan cities.

Key findings include:

  • Infrastructure was the top investment priority for communities of all sizes.

  • Approximately half of all respondents anticipate replacing lost public sector revenue.

  • Within the infrastructure category, most anticipated projects and priorities concern water and sewer infrastructure.

  • Nearly half of overall respondents anticipate hiring or designating coordinators for overall planning and management of these funds.

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