Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Application Process Opens
Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency Begins Process for Federal Municipal Stimulus
SAN JUAN — With the aim of helping state and local governments’ economic recovery after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, that the application process for Puerto Rico municipalities to receive federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has been opened, announced the executive director of the island’s Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (Aafaf by its Spanish acronym), Omar J. Marrero.
Under the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, $1.55 billion was allocated for the island’s 78 municipalities and will be distributed in two installments by the United States Department of the Treasury. Of this amount, the municipalities considered “Non-Entitlement Units” will have access to around $124 million.
“Starting today, these municipalities can submit the documentation required by the federal government so that we can transfer the first payment of this assigned amount. The second payment will be made in 2022, as instructed by the United States Department of the Treasury,” said Marrero.
The official explained that municipalities with more than 50,000 residents are responsible for managing the funds directly with the Treasury Department, while the rest of the municipalities will do so through the central government, with the fiscal agency in charge.
“Starting this week, we will be convening the 51 municipalities or Non-Entitlement Units to work hand in hand with us and to request the allocations through ARPA, which amount to $124 million. The AAFAF team will offer the necessary training for our municipal executives to obtain these funds and continue working for their communities and mitigating the negative impact caused by the pandemic,” said Marrero.
As part of the guidance that will be offered to mayors and their finance directors, “everything related to the genesis of the program, the distinction of funds, eligibility, application and disbursement processes, and compliance requirements and auditing” will be covered, the press release says.
According to Executive Order 2021-034, the “Distribution Supervision Committee of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) will be in charge of authorizing and supervising the disbursement of said funds and, in turn, ensuring compliance with the standards established in the aforementioned Strategic Plan and ARPA,” the release adds.