ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act)

American Rescue Plan graphic

ARPA Funding Available to the City of Fort Pierce

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319) was signed into law on March 11, 2021. The $1.9 trillion program is designed to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including public health and economic impacts.

The bill appropriated $65.1 billion in direct federal aid to all counties in Florida based on their population proportion of the United States. ARPA funds have been allocated to the City of Fort Pierce in the amount of $13,502,665.

Allowable Uses

The City may use the funds to:

  • Respond to or mitigate the public health emergency with respect to the COVID-19 emergency or its negative economic impacts
  • Provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue
  • Make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure
  • Respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers of the county that are performing such essential work, or by providing grants to eligible employers that have eligible workers who perform essential work.

ARPA Spending Plan

Staff recommended the following projects to the Fort Pierce City Commission based on a needs assessment, project review, and project prioritizing process.

Infrastructure Projects - $2,943,000

The collection and treatment of wastewater and stormwater play a critical role in protecting public health. The City has identified the following stormwater projects to be funded by ARP:

 Stormwater Drain Replacements

  • North 16th Street (Avenue K to Avenue I) - $300,000
  • Atlantic Avenue (S 5th Street to S 7th Street) - $500,000
  • Avenue Q ( N 14th Street to N 17th Street) - $600,000

 Drainage Improvements

  • Phase III of Surfside Drainage Improvements including Sunset Isles, Mimosa, and Jacaranda - $1,400,000

 Sanitary Sewer Improvements

  • Little Jim Bridge, North Hutchinson Island - $143,000

Refuse Collection Vehicles - $2,182,396

As a result of residents staying home to observe social distancing guidelines as well as the dramatic increase in single-use products like PPP during the pandemic, the quantity of curbside waste significantly increased throughout the City.  The purchase of additional refuse collection trucks will allow the City to continue to efficiently provide the invaluable service of waste collection.

  • 6 Vehicles - $2,116,047 (Approved by City Commission January 3, 2022)
  • Change Order - $66,349 (Approved by City Commission September 19, 2022)

Broadband Initiatives - $440,000

COVID-19 has underscored the importance of universally available, high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband coverage as residents rely on the internet to participate in remote school, healthcare, work, etc.  Eligible projects in broadband are those that are designed to provide services meeting adequate speeds and are provided to unserved and underserved households and businesses.

The City proposes the following broadband connectivity initiatives:

  • Lincoln Park Broadband Initiative - $200,000
  • Smart City Downtown Broadband Initiative - $240,000

Enterprise Resource Planning - $1,147,103

Approved by City Commission June 21, 2021

COVID-19 has emphasized and accelerated the City’s strategic goal of adopting contactless, cloud-based technologies to provide the best service to our community.

New Enterprise Resource Planning Software will provide the following modern functionality to operate more efficiently:

  • Electronic Plan Review
  • Paperless Purchase Order System
  • Asset Management
  • Bid Management
  • Online Payments
  • Online Public Record Requests

Axon Tech Improvements - $2,473,199.80

Approved by City Commission September 20, 2021

The Axon ecosystem gives law enforcement new tools to protect life by transforming public safety with technology.

The enhanced program provides:

  • Expanded Body Camera and Taser Initiative
  • In-Car Video
  • Automatic License Plate Readers
  • VR Training
  • Drone Program

City Marina Security - $289,748.93

Approved by City Commission March 7, 2022

In an effort to promote a safe environment for all patrons and visitors, the Fort Pierce City Marina proposed the implementation of security technologies under the American Rescue Plan, including:

  • Indoor and outdoor security cameras
  • Access control devices

Premium Pay Essential Workers - $1,580,186

Essential workers have been and continue to be relied upon to maintain the continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors. ARP funding may be used to provide premium pay to eligible workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency. City of Fort Pierce essential staff has been identified for competitive compensation enhancement under the ARP.

  • FY 2022 - $1,080,186 (Approved by City Commission September 20, 2021)
  • FY 2023 - $500,000 (Approved by City Commission September 19, 2022)

Affordable Housing Program - $900,000

All counties and 77 cities in Florida received Coronavirus State & Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) dollars through the American Rescue Plan that can be spent on a variety of activities to address the public health and economic effects of COVID-19.

Purpose of the program:

  • To meet the housing needs of populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including very low, low, and moderate-income households
  • To expand production of and preserve affordable housing
  • To further the housing element of the local government's Comprehensive Plan specific to affordable housing

Utility Bill Assistance Program - $125,000

Approved by City Commission September 6, 2022

The City of Fort Pierce is offering utility bill assistance for a limited time to help offset the impact of the increased cost of utilities recently experienced by our residents.

The program is open to all income-eligible households located within the City of Fort Pierce beginning Monday, September 19, 2022, at 8:00 a.m. Qualified households will receive a one-time payment of $250 per household that will be paid directly to the utility company. 

Funds are limited and all applications meeting the eligibility criteria will be processed on a first-come, first-completed basis. Applicants must submit identification, a utility account number, and a statement of household income. The statement of household income may be self-verified. The utility bill must be in the name of the applicant. If the applicant is not a customer of FPUA or FPL, then a hard copy of the utility bill must be provided. Only utility bills that provide water, sewer, gas, and/or electricity are eligible.  

In addition, the applicant’s household income must be at or below 65% of the Area Median Income (“AMI”) as determined by the US Treasury Department. A household is defined as all individuals residing at the same address. 

Emergency Inclement Weather Shelter - $50,287

Approved by City Commission October 3, 2022

The City of Fort Pierce has partnered with St. Lucie County to support an Emergency Inclement Weather Shelter program. The basic necessities of shelter, food, and safety will be provided to the City’s most vulnerable residents in times of need.

When Emergency Management Services announces “wind chill” weather conditions in Fort Pierce, In the Image of Christ, Inc. will open the Emergency Inclement Weather Shelter at the Percy Peek Gymnasium, located at 2902 Avenue D in Fort Pierce.

Estimated Lost Revenue - $1,000,000

The ARP provides governments with a substantial infusion of resources to rebuild a stronger, and more equitable economy as the country recovers.  The City may receive approximately $1M of lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic.

Fort Pierce Animal Adoption Center - $300,000

Approved by City Commission March 13, 2023

The Fort Pierce Animal Adoption Center will offer essential government services by providing an affordable option to the City of Fort Pierce residents and providing the necessary medical care to our shelter animals. It will help those who were negatively impacted by Covid 19 –through both loss of income and loss of access to the necessary veterinary care required to ensure the wellbeing of their pets and it will provide direct, cost-effective, and consistent care to the shelter animals.

$200,000 of the allocation will cover the cost of redesigning the old surgery suite at the shelter located at 100 Savannah Road and equipping it to provide care for the animals housed at the shelter as well as to provide an affordable veterinary option for our pet owners. 

The remaining $100,000 allocation will help cover the costs associated with the repair, replacement, and alterations of the shelter facility including equipment replacement and upgrade to city specifications: telephones, computers, security systems, etc.; furniture replacement: desks, chairs, tables, etc.; structure repairs and improvements: replacing doors, installing new windows, repairing leaking AC, repairing damaged ceilings, replacing light fixtures, installing new signs, repairing dog kennels, painting, etc.; and site improvements and repairs: electronic gate repairs, fence repairs, parking lot drainage issues, etc.

Future Projects - $71,744

April 2023 ARPA Fund Allocation Chart