American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
Gaston County was awarded $43,612,126 in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (Recovery Funding), as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. This infusion of federal resources is intended to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery. These funds may be used for the following categories of expenditures, to the extent authorized by state law.
- Support public health expenditures, by funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, and certain public health and safety staff
- Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries, and the public sector.
- Replace lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic
- Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have borne and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors.
- Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and storm water infrastructure, and to expand access to broadband internet.
Gaston County is committed to investing these funds in projects that align to county strategic plan and community priorities, support equitable outcomes for most impacted populations, leverage and align with other governmental funding sources, make best use of this one-time infusion of resources, and have a lasting impact.
Compliance and Timeline
Gaston County takes great care to be a responsible steward of public resources, including these Recovery Funds. The County is responsible for ensuring there is no fraud, waste, or abuse. It is vital that robust documentation and compliance processes are in place, and that management of funds is both transparent and accountable. Equitable delivery of benefits and services is of primary importance to both the US Treasury and in the guidelines of the American Rescue Plan Act. The following timeline notes important dates for use of the Recovery Funds:
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Current Board-Approved Projects
The Gaston County Board of Commissioners have approved the following uses and amounts of the County's Recovery Funding. This list will be updated as needed to reflect new Board-approved uses.
Family Justice Center Transitional Housing: $300,000
The Hope United Survivor Network exists to provide real-time assistance to individuals who are impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, elder abuse, and victims of childhood sexual assault. The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacted survivors. Many experienced reduced financial resources and increased stress as a direct result of the pandemic. These funds will be used to provide transitional housing for FY2022-2023 at the cost of $150,000 per year. Transitional housing will provide a safe place for individuals to stay for a short period of time.
North Belmont Park Waterline Extension: $300,000
The current appropriation of $300K funds the design phase of this project. Additional ARPA funding will also be appropriated to install a new waterline that services the community around North Belmont Park, west of Mt. Holly. The community is currently served by groundwater wells or community well systems that extract drinking water for citizens. This waterline project will provide clean water to the citizens and eliminate issues with water pressure for the immediate area.
Lowell Elementary Waterline Extension: $5,000
The current appropriation of $5K funds the design phase of this project. Additional ARPA funding will also be appropriated to install a new waterline to serve the Lowell Elementary School. This waterline will provide water from Lowell to the school and eliminate its dependence on water from McAdenville and Two Rivers Utilities. The new waterline will replace an older 2-inch waterline, which is no longer proficient to meet the needs of the school. It will also install 1,500 feet of new waterline. This waterline will provide Lowell Elementary with clean water and appropriate water-flow from Lowell directly.
Chapel Grove Elementary Waterline Extension: $472,000
The current appropriation of $472K funds the design phase of this project. Additional ARPA funding will also be appropriated to install new infrastructure of approximately 10,000 feet of 10-inch waterline along Chapel Grove Road, from Chapel Grove Elementary School to Linwood Road. It will serve the health and water needs of the community, which is currently served by groundwater wells or community well systems. This new waterline will tie into Two Rivers Utilities’ existing system at Linwood Road. Past droughts caused drinking water shortages and pressure issues. The Chapel Grove Waterline Extension project will eliminate those issues. This waterline will also eliminate water stoppage that could take place in a power outage, thereby avoiding disruptions in service. The Chapel Grove Waterline Extension will provide consistent water flow and clean water to the Chapel Grove Community.
Tryon Elementary Waterline Extension: $500,000
The current appropriation of $500K funds the design phase of this project. Additional ARPA funding will also be appropriated to install a new waterline to serve the Tryon Community, Tryon Elementary School, and Tryon Park and Recycling Center. The current area is served by groundwater wells or community well systems. Past droughts and industrial activities caused a shortage of drinking water and wells running dry. The Tryon Elementary School built water storage vessels on their property and transports water in from other locations to address the threat of a drinking water shortage. Currently, a power outage could stop water from being pumped and cause a disruption in the availability of clean drinking water. This waterline will help eliminate these issues and provide consistently clean drinking water for the area.