Response provided by Hayden Migl, Administrative Services Manager:
The ARP Grant Consultant was included as an approved funding request on Resolution 2022-149R that City Council approved on July 5, 2022. It was included on the overall list of requests that was presented to Council on April 19, 2022, but it was not on the recommended list at that time. As we went through the vetting process it became clear that having a resource dedicated to ensuring compliance was necessary. There was an item regarding ARPA at the June 29, 2022 Budget Workshop and Council was asked if they would be willing to add the ARP Grant Consultant for a period of two years at a cost of $110,000. Council agreed so the request was added to the list considered on July 5, 2022.
The $110,000 contract amount is a not to exceed amount so we may not need all of the funds. We will return to Council if it is determined additional funds are necessary for additional term. A certain amount of funds is typically needed to administer federal grants, such as CDBG, and when viewed in this way, this amount is only 0.6% of the total $18 million we are receiving through ARPA. The most recent guidance from the Department of Treasury states: ‘‘recipients may use funds for administering the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, including costs of consultants to support effective management and oversight, including consultation for ensuring compliance with legal, regulatory, and other requirements.”
This contract is to augment staff capacity in order to ensure the funds are spent correctly and the City is meeting all requirements in regards to reporting, performance measures, and compliance for the City and any subrecipients. The City seeks to hire an expert to ensure full compliance with all federal requirements for expenditures of ARPA funds and to ensure there is no risk of de-obligation of funding, which would ultimately then come out of the City’s budget. Federal requirements can be quite complex and firms such as Booth Consulting are intimately familiar with the complex federal requirements as that’s what they do every day. In addition, these services will help ensure we meet the deadline of having all funds allocated to appropriate programs and projects by the December 31, 2024 deadline.