Cumberland County sets July 1 deadline for pandemic recovery grant applications | State

Businesses, municipalities and nonprofits have until 4:30 p.m. on July 1 to apply online for a Cumberland County Pandemic Recovery Grant.

The county has made available $46.7 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds in grants ranging from a minimum of $50,000 to a maximum of $2 million each.

Grants are available to support mental and physical health initiatives, infrastructure projects, and business/nonprofit COVID-19 recovery efforts.

Experts will review applications in each category to develop recommendations to present to Cumberland County Commissioners, who have the final say on how ARPA funds are allocated, said County Planning Director Kirk Stoner. .

“There’s a lot of interest,” he said. “We have several requests every day.” In addition to responding to emails, Stoner attended about 20 meetings with potential applicants interested in grants in the infrastructure category.

“I’m just answering their questions about what may or may not make an app more competitive,” Stoner said. “We don’t want to set up a grant process and not provide guidance on how best to complete the application. I can tell from the meetings that the candidates appreciate that.

Because ARPA funding must be spent by the end of 2026, the county will consider projects that are ready to move forward within four years, Stoner said.

The county also requires a 30% match for all grants, except for mental and physical health services, which require no match. Applicants may request a waiver of the match requirement based on financial need and other criteria.

The county is considering a mid-to-late summer announcement for the grants, Stoner said.

“A lot of things are unknown,” he said. “We don’t know how many requests we will receive. Based on the number of emails, we believe we will get a substantial response. We want to make sure we have enough time to give everyone a fair and equitable look at the requests. That’s why we really don’t have a date set.


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On Monday, there was no predetermined allocation for each of the three grant categories, Stoner said. “We want to see the number of applications we receive overall and the impact of those proposals.”

From there, a judgment can be made to allocate a certain amount of money per category or base recommendations on the projects that have the most impact, regardless of category.

The American Rescue Plan Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021. This legislation includes $350 billion in state and local fiscal stimulus funds for states, counties and local governments eligible.

Of the $350 billion, Cumberland County received $49,214,152. In September, commissioners approved the allocation of $2.5 million from ARPA to three local higher education institutions, awarding $1.4 million to Central Penn College, $600,000 to Messiah University and $500,000 to Shippensburg University.

Since then, the county has gathered information on how to allocate the remaining $46.7 million. Sources include focus group contributions, a public inquiry process, and networking of staff members in various county departments.

Officials used this input to formulate the following main objectives for the fund balance:

• Improve the physical and mental health of county residents directly or indirectly affected by COVID-19.

• Revitalize communities in Cumberland County negatively impacted by COVID-19.

• Restoring and delivering government services hampered, delayed or canceled by COVID-19.

Applicants can apply for grants online at www.ccpa.net/CCRG. Those who have questions or need help completing an application can send their questions and contact information to [email protected]

Joseph Cress is a reporter for The Sentinel covering education and history. You can reach him at [email protected] or by calling 717-218-0022.

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