Will County Announces $43 Million in ARPA Grant Awards
Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and Will County Board leadership have announced the awarded allocation of $43 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars to 120 local governments, community organizations, and small businesses throughout the county. This announcement follows Will County Board approval of allocations at its May 18, 2023 Board Meeting.
“This funding is an investment into the health and well-being of our communities,” said County Executive Bertino-Tarrant. “Our use of ARPA dollars will play a critical role in elevating services and supporting our community’s infrastructure needs.”
Will County has received $134.1 million in ARPA funding from the federal government as part of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. To guide the allocation, the Executive Committee separated the allocation into “pillars” of Health, Infrastructure, Economic Development, Local Government Unmet Needs, and Revenue Replacement. $43 million dollars was made available for county-wide entities to apply for funds to support programs supporting Economic Development, Health, and Infrastructure.
Will County is allocating $10 million dollars in economic development funding to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide direct aid to impacted industries.
This allocation includes $7.2 million to programs supporting households and healthy children, including over $2 million each to Habitat for Humanity and the Housing of Authority of Joliet for affordable housing unit developments. $1.4 million is also being awarded to Guardian Angel Community Services to support a three-year program to provide rental assistance for victims of domestic violence.
“The fair and equitable distribution of the ARPA dollars was paramount to the Will County Board,” said Will County Board Democratic Leader Jackie Traynere. “The ability to provide this aid to non-profits, small businesses, and the well-being of children from the Economic Development pillar will be a benefit to the people of Will County as a whole.”
Nearly $16 million was allocated to support local water and sewer infrastructure improvements. 37 local entities are receiving grants, capped at $500,000, for improvements or expanded access.
Funding includes lead service line replacement efforts in the Village of Plainfield, Village of Shorewood, and Village of University Park. Additionally, projects expanding access to drinking water are funded in the Village of Beecher, Village of Crete, Village of Channahon, City of Crest Hill, and Village of Frankfort. Projects targeted at expanding local tourism are also included, such as needed water infrastructure improvements to open the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66 in Joliet.
“The money distributed through the Infrastructure pillar will allow many communities within Will County to have quality water and sewer for many years to come,” said Will County Board Republican Leader Steve Balich.
$17.2 million has been allocated to community groups, healthcare partners, and non-profit organizations to increase health services and expand access to health-related programs. This includes $6.4 million to programs expanding access and equity to health programs, $5.4 million to behavioral health programs, $4.5 million to programs supporting food stabilization, and over $800,000 for crime prevention.
“Healthcare organizations played a critical role during the pandemic,” added Bertino-Tarrant. “This funding will empower their efforts to expand access to services and create healthier outcomes for our residents.”
An online dashboard has been launched to allow the public to view the full listing of allocations and to learn how to access services expanded by ARPA funding. The dashboard is available at www.willcountyillinois.org/dashboard.