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United Way of Lancaster County


Round 2 of county ARPA grants up for discussion Wednesday (update)

Lancaster County Government Center, 150 N. Queen St. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)

Update, Feb. 15: On Wednesday, the commissioners identified 14 projects to vote on next week.

Update, Feb 13: The commissioners’ Tuesday’s work session was cancelled due to the overnight snowstorm. The ARPA discussion is listed on the agenda for their regular meeting at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Previously reported:

The Lancaster County commissioners appear ready to begin making some decisions for Round 2 of their community American Rescue Plan Act grants.

A discussion of ARPA is on the agenda for the commissioners’ 10 a.m. Tuesday work session at the County Government Center. No action is contemplated and there is no ARPA-related action item at present on the agenda for their regular meeting Wednesday.

Tuesday’s discussion will be the next step in a process that started last year, when the commissioners invited applications for a second round of ARPA community grants. They received 75 applications in response, totaling more than $35 million.

A county committee conducted an initial review, and determined that 29 of them, totaling $21.0 million, met eligibility requirements. To see the list, click here (PDF).

The others were ruled out for not meeting mandatory federal guidelines, the county’s own guidelines, or both. The committee briefed the commissioners on its findings at several meetings late last year.

The applications fall into six categories. The three largest are conservation ($7.2 million), affordable housing ($6.3 million) and infrastructure ($4.5 million). Together, those three account for 86% of the total.

(Source: Lancaster County)

About $4 million of the conservation category comes from Clean Water Partners. Its request would fund 11 projects to improve stream and watershed quality, Executive Director Allyson Gibson said.

Tentative funding: $6 million

The commissioners have floated $6 million as a tentative ballpark figure for the amount they will make available. They have emphasized that the county is allocating ARPA funds toward its eligible internal projects first.

About $20.7 million in county ARPA remains unallocated, according to the county’s public ARPA spreadsheet. In the first round of community ARPA grants, 41 organizations received $22.6 million.

The Round 2 applicants include 10 entities that have already received ARPA grants. An 11th, the Elizabethtown Area Water Authority, serves Elizabethtown, which received $244,000 in Round 1 for a wastewater treatment project.

Four of the repeat applicants are organizations doing environmental work: Clean Water Partners, Lancaster Conservancy, Lancaster Farmland Trust and the Little Conestoga Blue-Green Corridor Project. Another three are municipalities or municipal authorities.

Other repeats are the nonprofit HDC MidAtlantic, which received funding for an affordable housing project and is seeking support for another one; and YWCA Lancaster, which is seeking more money for its YForward renovations.

Lastly, the county’s Hazmat response team, which received $1 million for equipment, is seeking $490,000 for a bariatric transport unit for overweight individuals.

For Round 1, the county posted all applicants’ full submissions on its website. To date, it has not done the same for Round 2. (Update: The applications were posted Wednesday, Feb. 14, and are available here.)

(Editor’s Note: This story was updated Feb. 15 to correct the number of ARPA applications deemed eligible.)