WEST CHESTER — Chester County has begun accepting applications for funding from a pool of nearly $102 million in American Rescue Plan Act money.
County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell and Michelle Kichline said the grants are intended to provide an infusion of resources to meet pandemic recovery needs and accelerate the ongoing rebuilding of Chester County’s economy.
“We invite Chester County municipalities, public authorities, small businesses and non-profit organizations, as well as organizations that provide a substantial service to the county, to send us their proposals,” Moskowitz said. “We have a unique structure in place to assess applications, where community members help determine how their tax money is spent. I am so proud of this model.
At the heart of this structure sits a committee of 36 volunteers, half county employees, half residents. Commissioner Josh Maxwell said the committee had created a system, in accordance with ARPA guidelines, to review and prioritize proposals.
“The committee formed six teams to address each ARPA funding priority,” Maxwell explained. “Teams will evaluate the proposals and present their recommendations to us for final review. Having the community involved is extremely exciting. They know their local needs best. I can’t wait to see the recommendations they produce.
The commissioners recognize that valid applications could exceed the $102 million available. This means that in addition to selecting the winning proposals, the committee could, in some cases, approve an application, but recommend funding less than the amount requested. Additionally, scholarships may include incremental funding. There is no minimum or maximum amount of funding that can be offered.
“Committee members have a lot of work ahead of them,” Kichline added. “They need to consider and analyze the impact of this money not only on our economy, but on the county workforce and the families who live here. The pandemic has impacted many people’s physical and mental health as well as their finances. These dollars are for recovery. This is a factor that I hope all members of the committee will keep in mind when doing the assessments.
Chester County has designed the ARPA app for applicants to provide the information necessary for assessment teams to make their recommendations to the county. Eligible entities must indicate their interest in funding by completing the online application.
The application deadline is May 16. If an applicant is unable to complete the electronic application, they may request a printed copy by emailing [email protected]
All questions regarding this funding opportunity should be submitted to [email protected] For more details and to access the application online, visit www.chesco.org/arpa.
“The people of Chester County help each other. We are confident that the spirit of community and the support of neighbors will shine through in the decisions made by our volunteer committee,” the commissioners said.