Fiscal Services

Approved ARPA Projects: After a thorough selection and review process, the County has approved a number of wide-ranging initiatives

American Rescue Plan Act

About the Act

In March 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a COVID-19 relief package. This Act includes billions in federal funding for state and local governments. This federal aid is intended to address economic impacts of the pandemic and ensure a strong and equitable recovery.

Ottawa County has received $57 million in ARPA funding

COVID-19 American Rescue Plan Act Advisory Committee

Public input is the cornerstone of good governance. Determined to utilize these onetime federal resources wisely, Ottawa County formed the American Rescue Plan Act Committee. Appointed by the Board of Commissioners, the Committee is comprised of community members representing a cross-section of local public and private organizations. The Committee's sole purpose is to guide how the $57 million in ARPA monies will be distributed.

  • Meet the Committee

    The Committee members represent a range of industry sectors, including (but not limited to): local government; charitable foundations economic development; nonprofit; and human services agencies. Through a careful review process, these community leaders will assist with drafting funding options and priorities for the County Board Finance & Administration Standing Committee and the Board of Commissioners.

    Board Member/Title Sector
    Roger Bergman
    Commissioner, District 10
    County Commissioner
    Joseph Baumann
    Commissioner, District 2
    County Commissioner
    Keith Van Beek *
    Manager, Holland City
    Local Unit of Government
    Mark Bennett **
    Supervisor, Tallmadge Township
    Local Unit of Government
    Terry Nienhuis
    Supervisor, Holland Charter Township
    Local Unit of Government
    Jennifer Owens
    President, Lakeshore Advantage
    Economic Development
    Joy Gaasch
    President, Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce
    Local Chamber
    Elizabeth Butler
    Director of Economic Development Strategic Directions, Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce
    Local Chamber
    Hadley Streng
    President of Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, and affiliate foundations Allendale and Coopersville Area
    Holly Cole
    Vice President of Grants & Programs, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation
    Mike Goorhouse
    President/CEO, Community Foundation Holland/Zeeland Area
    Randy Kortering
    Interim President, Greater Ottawa County United Way
    Social/Human Services
    Patrick Cisler
    Executive Director, Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance & Community Spoke
    Social/Human Services
    Gloria Lara
    Executive Director, Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance
    Social/Human Services
    Ryan Kilpatrick
    Executive Director, Housing Next
    Economic Development/Housing
    Tina Dee ***
    Director of Strategic Initiatives, Muskegon Community College
    Higher Education
    Karen Karasinski
    Director, Fiscal Services
    Robyn Afrik
    Director, Diversity Equity & Inclusion
    John Shay
    County Administrator
    Paul Sachs
    Director, Department of Strategic Impact

    * The Committee originally featured two city representatives and two township representatives. Former Grand Haven City Manager Patrick McGinnis was the second city representative until he left for a new position in June 2022.

    ** Mark Bennett, Supervisor, Tallmadge Township, serves as replacement for Allendale Charter Township Supervisor Adam Elenbaas

    *** Tina Dee replaced Muskegon Community College President Dr. Dale Nesbary following his retirement in June 2022.

  • Criteria

    The goal of the Committee is to thoughtfully distribute the $57 million to areas of need which will generate quantifiable and positive outcomes. To achieve this, committee members and Ottawa County Department of Strategic Impact staff developed "Lenses of Focus" as a means to guide its decision-making process for assessing and selecting projects to receive ARPA funds. The lenses offer the basis for recommendations that facilitate communication among the Committee and the Board of Commissioners to ensure the best and most impactful projects are selected from across the County.

    The Lenses of Focus for Project Evaluation

    Besides meeting basic eligibility criteria, priority will be placed on projects that satisfy these five "Lenses":


    The project is designed to address a known and demonstrated need.


    The project addresses a needed change in societal opportunity and/ or eliminates disparities and gaps in opportunities for underserved and underrepresented populations.


    The project would not otherwise materialize without a significant infusion of County ARPA dollars.


    The opportunity for the project to sustain itself long-term after the initial infusion of ARPA dollars is legitimate.


    The long-term, transformational impact of the project, including its return on investment based on verified outcome-based results, can be quantified.

  • Funding Priorities

    Committee members have identified needs within their area of expertise and are assisting County officials with drafting funding options and priorities. To ensure projects funded by federal ARPA dollars benefit all who live and work in Ottawa County, the Committee identified (beyond local government lost revenue, which is an eligible expense of ARPA funds) the five categories, or “buckets”, of high-level priorities:

    ARPA Funding Prioritization Buckets

    Bucket Managers

    Overseeing these categories are who the Committee has coined “bucket managers” — individuals or organizations identified by the Committee. Following a transparent Request For Proposals process, the County Board of Commissioners have selected the following nonprofit organizations to manage three of the five bucket categories:

    • Lakeshore Advantage will manage Business Stabilization
    • HousingNext will support Affordable Housing
    • Care Ottawa (a collaboration between the Community Foundation of the Holland/ Zeeland Area; Grand Haven Area Community Foundation; and the Greater Ottawa County United Way) will identify critical Social/Human Service Needs
    • County staff will serve as bucket managers for County Initiatives and Countywide Broadband categories

    These organizations will work in the community to solicit applications for funding; however, final project/funding approvals will go through the Board of Commissioners.

    Project Selection and Funds Distribution Process

  • Funding Distribution and Project Updates

    Approved ARPA Projects

    The County Board of Commissioners approved bucket managers for Business Stabilization, Affordable Housing, and Social/Human Service needs on June 28, 2022. These bucket managers accepted project applications for ARPA funding through the summer of 2022.

    The best projects were elevated to the ARPA Committee and the Board of Commissioners to be considerred for approval. Dozens of projects have been approved to address needs spelled out in the County Initiative, Countywide Broadband, Affordable Housing, Business Stabilization, and Social and Human Service Needs “buckets”.

    Over the next few years, selected awardees will receive project funds pursuant to their individual grant conditions. Grantees will also be required to meet established reporting requirements to help assess the short and long-term impacts of each initiative.

    For more details on each project, view the ARPA Projects Visual Guide below:

    ARPA Projects Presentation

  • ARPA Public Input Survey Results
    Take our ARPA survey.
  • Spending Requirements

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a final rule to implement ARPA statutory provisions on eligible and ineligible uses of ARPA funds. Eligible uses include replacing revenue lost to local governments because of the pandemic.

    By exploring all eligible uses of funds and carefully fulfilling all requirements, the County will ensure all ARPA dollars are used to support projects in the most financially responsible way possible.

    Read more about federal requirements:
    U.S. Department of the Treasury Final Rule Overview document

  • More Information

    For more information on the COVID-19 American Rescue Plan Act Advisory Committee and the funds allotment and distribution process, email or call 616-738-4852.

    For more information on the American Rescue Plan Act, click here.

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