DES MOINES, Iowa – Polk County will hold a series of public forums in the next several months in order to solicit public feedback on the anticipated use of federal funds relating to COVID-19 recovery.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021 is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package. Polk County will receive a $95 million allotment of that package. The funds are earmarked for COVID-19 recovery and financial assistance to state and local governments. These series of public forums will provide guidance to the Polk County Board of Supervisors as they prioritize the best ways to strategically invest Polk County’s allotted federal dollars.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a tremendous impact on Polk County residents for generations to come. Because of the scale of this opportunity the Board of Supervisors are committed to a process that will result in long-term systemic changes and will be making strategic investments to address key priority areas,” Angela Connolly, chair of the Polk County Board of Supervisors, said in a released statement.
The Board of Supervisors has already identified four priority areas of long-term strategic investment. Those areas include; Affordable Housing, Economic Well-Being, Water Quality and Mental Health. Monday’s public forum will provide a broad overview of the process the board will undertake to solicit public feedback and implement a plan to use the funds. Four other public forums will take place over the next several months to gain feedback on each of the four priority areas identified above.
The first public forum will be held on Monday October 11, 2021, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Iowa Events Center in Room #302-303.
In addition to the public forums, an online survey and public comments will be available online at PolkCountyIowa.gov/ARPA now through December 31. It is recommended that individuals sign up in advance to speak at a public forum using that same link. For those unable to attend the forums in person, a live feed will be available online at the Polk County website and on Polk County’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.