American Rescue Plan Act
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provides funding to support Washington County in its efforts to continue the response to the economic and public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How much funding did Washington County receive from the ARPA?
Washington County received $50,975,893 from the Coronavirus State Local and Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program authorized by ARPA.
How does Washington County use its ARPA funding?
The Washington County Board of Commissioners approved a project plan that allocates ARPA funding into four categories.
Is there a deadline to spend the ARPA funding?
ARPA funds must be committed by December 31, 2024. All ARPA funding must be fully expensed by December 31, 2026.
What reporting is required?
Washington County is required to submit quarterly reports and an annual Recovery Plan report to the U.S. Department of Treasury. These reports are available in the "Reports" section on this web page.
Annual Recovery Plan Reports
- American Rescue Plan Act Report Quarter 3 2023 (PDF)
- American Rescue Plan Act Report Quarter 2 2023 (PDF)
- American Rescue Plan Act Report Quarter 1 2023 (PDF)
- American Rescue Plan Act Report Quarter 4 2022 (PDF)
- American Rescue Plan Act Report Quarter 3 2022 (PDF)
- American Rescue Plan Act Report Quarter 2 2022 (PDF)
- American Rescue Plan Act Report Quarter 1 2022 (PDF)
Washington County Recovery Plan
|2021 Recovery Plan
|2022 Recovery Plan
|2023 Recovery Plan
|County Infrastructure Improvements and Operations funded by loss revenue
|Investments in Water, Sewer and Broadband
|Supporting the Public Health Needs of County Residents and Staff
|Supporting Workers, Residents, Businesses and Others Negatively Impacted by the Pandemic
Washington County prioritizes fairness in its work. Although it's a healthy county, some residents face health challenges due to factors like race, education, income, and location, which worsened during the pandemic. County equity efforts include partnerships, collaborations, and outreach to ensure services are equitable:
- Remove barriers for quicker response, like reducing personal information requirements for food support or vaccines.
- Engage diverse community representatives to address communication gaps with underserved groups.
- Use trusted messengers for equal access to information.
- Translate materials and provide interpreter services.
- Offer transportation support for vaccine clinics, testing centers, and food distribution events.
- Provide no-contact food support delivery and proportionate food distribution.
Washington County is investing more than 20% of its allocation in interventions, such as crisis response, food security, internet accessibility, housing support, community health workers, and career pathways to have a direct impact on the goals described for each of these initiatives.
Detailed Information of Recovery Plan Projects
County Infrastructure Improvements and Operations: $8,594,700
|Recovery Plan Descriptions
|2023 Recovery Plan
|Audio Visual Upgrade
|The Washington County Board Room requires a high-quality production system that effectively meets the needs of commissioners, staff, residents, and guests who attend or view weekly meetings and workshops. The County Board Room hosts several additional events and trainings each year. Primary operations of the audio/video equipment are in the production control room. The system records and broadcasts live content to online digital platforms and cable access partners. This project will increase access to live/recorded content by expanding distribution options, providing limited realtime closed captioning services, integrating critical redundancies, modifying select operations, and adding basic equipment protections. To complete the proposed A/V project, Information Technology requests ARPA funds be allocated for audio/video hardware, vendor services, construction-related costs and the first year of subscription services.
|Election Equipment Replacement
|This project will replace outdated assistive voting devices and poll pads used on Election Day and in absentee voting locations. The current machines from 2004 are no longer manufactured, and only refurbished parts are available for repairs or replacements. Modernizing the system will improve cyber security.
|Electric Vehicle Charging Study
|Washington County is in the process of submitting an application for a USDOT Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary grant program award, to install public facing Level II electric vehicle (EV) chargers at Service Centers and Transit Centers throughout the County. The project requires a 20% local match, and the county would use ARPA dollars to fund this amount. The project local match is anticipated to be $131,788.80, or 20% of the total $658,944 project cost.
|Electric Vehicle Charging Station Federal Grant Match
|Washington County will conduct an assessment to identify and address deficiencies of the Washington County electric vehicle charging infrastructure network, with an emphasis on site locations, to inform the prioritization of future infrastructure investment and deployment. The study will consider County fleet, employee, and general public need.
|Information Technology Infrastructure
|This project will provide funding for increased information technology infrastructure and security measures as outlined in the county's capital equipment and technology plan. These improvements will support remote work for county employees and remote access for those doing business with the county, as well as improve client communication, all in response to the pandemic.
|Law Library Loss Revenue
|The Law Library is funded by fines and forfeitures from the court system. Due to the pandemic, revenue decreased in 2020 and 2021, resulting in negative balances. The collection of fines is expected to be lower in 2022. The Law Library needs replacement revenue to maintain its print and electronic materials collection.
|R.H. Stafford Library Planning
|The R. H. Stafford Library is part of the planned 2027 bond sale project list and to deliver the remodel in the requested timeline, design services will need to begin in late 2024. The scope of work that will be included in this phase of design is the following: Community engagement, programming needs determined by Library staff, development of projects options and corresponding costs, and site layout options. This request for $125,000 is to fund the design services since it is outside of the 18-month pre-spend on bond sale revenue.
|Park Grove Library Planning
|Public Works Fleet Replacement
|The Fleet Capital Replacement Budget for 2022 is $641,300, but it should be $1.52 million annually to meet equipment needs. The current fleet and equipment replacement backlog is $5.4 million. Due to reduced gas tax during the pandemic, State Aid funding has decreased, resulting in a loss of over $9.5 million in transportation revenues.
|St. Croix Boat Launch Improvements
|This funding will accelerate the replacement of the boat launch at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park. This will provide accessibility to the river and fishing piers. The boat launch is used for access to the river while responding to emergencies on the St. Croix River.
|Sheriff's Office Mobile Squad Radio Replacement
|This request funds a replacement of all Washington County public safety radios installed in squad cars. The current radios were purchased in 2007-2008 and are no longer supported for parts. New radios offer several enhancements, such as encryption, improved controls, and wireless programming, which will decrease staff time to support the radios. The WiFi programming will allow for social distancing as all updates are done remotely.
|Voice-Telephone System Replacement
|This project aims to replace the current county telephone system, which is at the end of its useful life, in order to facilitate telework and efficiently deliver county services virtually.
|Website Analytics, Evaluation, and Recommendations
|The purpose of this project is to secure consulting services to conduct a website user needs assessment and usability evaluation on the county’s website, co.washington.mn.us. Washington County launched the website, co.washington.mn.us, on its current content management system, CivicEngage Central by CivicPlus in 2012. The project goal of website evaluation is to assess the performance, user experience and overall quality of the website in order to shift from the staff-centric focus to a user-centric focus, identify areas improvement, and optimize its effectiveness. We are seeking to hire a qualified firm or individual to engage stakeholders and end users, study the current website, and develop a user-centered recommendation for the future of the website. We are seeking innovative ideas for how we can reinvent the website to meet the needs of residents who seek services, employees who administer services, and businesses who wants to thrive in Washington County.
Investments in Water, Sewer, and Broadband Infrastructure: $2,750,000
|Recovery Plan Descriptions
|2023 Recovery Plan
|Broadband Matching Funds
|This project is in the planning phase and may include matching grants to local units of government for the expansion of high-speed broadband within Washington County.
|Sewer and Water Utility Matching Funds
|This project will provide matching funds to the City of Stillwater, as a subrecipient, for sewer and water infrastructure. These funds would supplement a $2 million investment that the city is making in sewer and water utility line to support economic development within a hard-to-reach area. This utility line is also anticipated to support a healthcare campus under development.
Supporting the Public Health Needs of County Residents and Staff: $37,669,193
|Recovery Plan Descriptions
|2023 Recovery Plan
|Access and Continuity Navigator
|This is a pilot program for Community Services that includes embedding two Community Services staff at Washington County libraries. The model is designed to simplify the process for residents to access support and services by offering assistance in accessible locations, such as libraries, and through transferring the complexities of the system to community services staff whenever possible.
|Building Modifications to Ensure Safe Service Delivery
|The project would reconfigure workstations and office spaces to accommodate changes in workstyles, including telework, due to the pandemic. Replacing existing furniture with more flexible options will maximize the space and reduce the need for future space growth in the county. Reconfiguration front reception desk areas throughout the county will enhance safety between front desk staff and the public, and increase security in the buildings. Upgrades and installation of A/V equipment throughout the county will allow for enhanced virtual interaction between staff working between sites, between home and office, and between staff and clients. Reconfigurations would allow for proper teleworking to accommodate social distancing guidelines in a pandemic, while maximizing the availability of staff within buildings to serve the needs of the public.
|Campus Heating and Cooling Improvements
|This project will replace the heating, cooling, and ventilation systems throughout the Washington County Stillwater campus, including boilers and chillers, along with associated piping, pumps, and motors as necessary. In addition, select air-handling units may have to be replaced to accommodate the new equipment. The new equipment will provide a higher energy efficiency than the current equipment. Enhancements would include increased air flow and outside air intake, replacement of equipment that is unable to accommodate the recommended guidelines during a pandemic due to age and vintage, and provide additional functionality, which would allow for quick reaction to public health-related concerns in a timely manner.
|Community Health Worker-Health Equity Initiative (Multiyear effort)
|Community Health Workers (CHWs) are trusted public health workers who bridge the gap between communities and health services. They improve access to services, cultural competence, and health knowledge. This ARPA project aims to engage the community in COVID-19 recovery with a health equity focus. The project will fund navigators to help residents access health care resources and public assistance programs for a healthier community.
|Courtroom Security Glass
|This project will extend the security glass to the ceiling and/or fully enclose the inmate holding area of Courtroom 200, which is used for in-custody arraignment.
|County Emergency/Transitional Housing
|This project would support the housing of those experiencing homelessness until the Washington County ARPA funded 30-bed shelter is operational in spring 2023 and provide one special project position to assist with the hotel shelter program for one year. The Center for Evidence-based Solutions to Homelessness guide the county’s strategy and approach regarding homelessness within the jurisdiction. This project would include funding for general operation and administrative support and supplies. This may include communication/marketing, education about need for emergency housing, cleaning and incidentals for hotel rooms, consultation fees for people with lived experience, and support services for people accessing services in the shelter when no other funds are available. Funds are being directed to provide services to communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency to promote and encourage strong, equitable growth. The project will serve the hardest-hit communities and families, and address health disparities and the social determinants of health, investments in housing, and neighborhoods.
|County Emergency/Transitional Housing (Youth)
|Washington County will partner with Dakota County for the purchase of a building for a youth shelter. This is a one-time use of capital funds. For those served, 80% of children and youth are in need of short-term emergency stay in a facility within 30 minutes of their family home; 90% of children and youth will receive the right level of support and services, and not have to choose a setting that is more restrictive due to lack of options.
|County Emergency/Transitional Housing Capital Program
|This project would provide money for the purchase of a 50-75 bed hotel to be converted into a 30-bed shelter. Remodeling will include a commercial kitchen, room modifications, community spaces, office spaces, etc. This will be the first permanent shelter in Washington County for adults and will allow residents to receive services in the community in which they want to secure housing. The project will serve the hardest-hit communities and families and address health disparities and the social determinants of health, investments in housing, and neighborhoods. The shelter should open in spring 2023.
|COVID-19 Testing, Planning and Implementation
|This project continues the county's testing program and costs would include all supplies, staff time, and materials.
|Crisis Response Mental Health Service Augmentation
|The longer-term mental health impacts of COVID-19 are yet to be determined. There has been an influx of new intakes, as well as the suspension of routine case closures. This swelled caseloads across most mental health programs, and increased demand on the state and federal government for additional resources. This project would employ special project positions for two years to administer assistance programs based on current needs.
|Food Security Program
|This program will continue the work of the Food Security Team in partnership with local food shelves. The program includes Emergency Food Pack delivery, transportation of food boxes to people in the community, and infrastructure to support food shelf partners to take over administration of this program by the end of 2021. It will also include a number of food preparation and delivery programs.
|Housing Outreach Team Supervision
|The Housing Outreach Services Team (HOST) started in 2014 and has grown. The HOST needs a supervisor to meet the community's current needs and future growth. As HOST's responsibilities have expanded, the current supervision model isn't sustainable. The team now handles diverse tasks, including homeless outreach, emergency shelter, and housing support services, which require increased supervision and coordination. The COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the demand for services, including a COVID-19 shelter.
|Jail Camera and Security Systems
|The jail is in need of an upgrade to its jail security system, which includes more cameras in the jail for increased coverage. The jail security system needs a software upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Also, 24 more cameras are needed to monitor vulnerable inmates, including those who are suicidal and self-harming.
|Library Express Lockers
|Washington County's libraries have express lockers in some locations like Hugo, Newport, and Marine on St. Croix. In 2020, the use of these lockers increased by 52% compared to 2019. During the pandemic, all branches offered curbside pickup, a much-needed service. To provide 24/7 access to library materials across the county, adding express lockers outside all branches is being considered. These lockers could replace the curbside pickup service and assist the response to COVID-19. They also support equity-focused services, ensuring access to library materials for hard-hit communities, addressing educational disparities, and promoting healthy childhood environments.
|Payroll and Benefit Costs of those Directly Responding to the Pandemic
|While the costs have dropped significantly in 2021, the county continues to incur salary and benefit costs for those directly responding to the pandemic, including costs to administer this federal funding and consulting costs.
|Protective Equipment and Measures
|This project will provide the necessary safety measures for virus transmission mitigation, including, but not limited to, materials and supplies, temporary modifications, enhanced cleaning, and other needs.
|Public Health Enhancements to County Environmental Centers
|The county uses its Environmental Center to support the public health preparedness efforts. This project will provide dedicated space in Woodbury, and at the new center in Forest Lake, for supplies and equipment necessary to respond to public health emergencies.
|Public Health Records Assessment and Support
|This project improves the design and execution of certain public health records systems within the county.
|Safe Working Environment at Big Marine Park
|The staff facility building at Big Marine Park Reserve does not have running water, staff restrooms, or a handwashing station. This project would add these basic amenities for staff as well as include an eye wash station, employee work areas, locker area, and a basic lunchroom space. According to the Centers for Disease Control, handwashing is one of the core components to slow the spread of COVID-19. By providing a restroom and handwashing station for staff, staff have better opportunities to wash before eating, after using a restroom, and after being in a public place. One chemical toilet, and associated costs, will be discontinued.
|Virtual Meeting and Service Support
|The County Board Room requires a high-quality production system to meet the needs of commissioners, the public, and county staff who attend meetings and workshops. There is an internal staff commitment to maintain all the A/V equipment in the Board Room weekly to meet the production quality expectations. In addition to the Board Room, there are 197 conference rooms that serve the public and departments that routinely need support for maintenance and programming. This position will also develop conference room standards, develop a training program for staff, and coordinate contracted work that cannot be completed internally. This will support remote work and client services. This position will be expected to provide high-quality customer service to all county departments to minimize any A/V disruptions to meetings in conference rooms and the Board Room.
Supporting Impacted Communities: $1,962,000
|Recovery Plan Descriptions
|2023 Recovery Plan
|Career Pathways System Project
|This project helps school districts adopt Career Pathway approaches and connect with businesses effectively. It addresses the negative economic impacts of COVID-19 on individuals and businesses, especially those facing barriers to training and employment. Individuals from disproportionately impacted families need guidance to identify Career Pathways that suit their interests, abilities, and affordability. The project aims to create better opportunities for high school students and adults in Washington County.
|County Attorney Staff Augmentation
|This Attorney I special project position will be employed for two years to address the backlog of lower-level crimes prosecution in the county, which occurred due to court closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Economic Support Division Assistance
|The county is providing more than $14 million in rental assistance over the next two years and has seen an increase in all program areas caused by the pandemic. Additional staffing is necessary to ensure all applications are processed in a timely fashion and eligibility requirements are met.
|Equitable Services Program
|This project will pay for a consultant to shift the county’s focus and resources to more equitably provide services to Washington County residents to address disparate outcomes for populations most vulnerable to the public health crisis. Areas to be addressed include access and resource development. This will be measured by an increase in the numbers of unduplicated residents from the target group who access services and the correlation to the overall population of Washington County. The consultant will assess the current situation, work with stakeholders to define a future state, and create an implementation plan.
|Internet Access to Support Adults and Students
|This is a multiyear funding request for the Library's hotspot program. In 2020, the Library purchased 500 hotspots with a one-year service contract with CARES Act funding. These hotspots were available for check-out starting in November 2020. In the past six months, these hotspots have been checked out 2,754 times. Although the hotspots have been popular, at no point in the last six months have all 500 hotspots been checked out. The average number of hotspots checked out from March through May 2021 is 391. As a result, the number of hotspots will be reduced from 500 to 400. This will support remote education and reduce disparities in access to basic technology needs.
|Library Extended Access Pilot Project
|This project will allow Washington County Library to provide additional, unstaffed hours at Valley Library in Lakeland. The library is currently open 24 hours per week, but extended access would provide greater flexibility for users to access materials, spaces, and resources outside of staffed hours. The proposed extended access model achieves the library’s goal of making the library more accessible and convenient for patrons. It also responds to the public health impacts of COVID-19 by allowing community members use the library in ways they feel most comfortable and by reducing congestion of the space for those who are concerned about the spread of COVID19. Additionally, expanded access to library materials will also help address educational disparities and promote healthy childhood environments.
|Small Business Technical Assistance Program
|This project will allocate up to $200,000 in ARPA funds to the Washington County Community Development Agency to fund the small business technical assistance program.