Noblesville receives $7.3M less than expected from American Rescue Plan fiscal recovery fund

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The City of Noblesville is slated to receive millions of dollars less than expected from the American Rescue Plan. Fishers and Carmel also are receiving several million less than expected.

Original estimates showed Noblesville would receive $13.5 million in funds from the ARP’s Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, but the actual amount is a 54 percent less at $6.2 million.

Carmel expected more than $21 million and received $7.5 million. Fishers expected $19.9 million and received $6.9 million.

Created through the American Rescue Plan, the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund is distributing $350 billion in relief to various municipalities to help cover COVID-19-related expenses and promote economic recovery. In the March estimates, the three Hamilton County cities were in a population-based category.

But the U.S. Dept. of the Treasury adjusted the designations of some cities, including Noblesville, and moved them from a population-based category into a county-based category, leading to the decrease in funds. Because Noblesville, Carmel and Fishers pool resources with Hamilton County for community block grants, they became part of the county-based category.

Despite Carmel, Fishers and Noblesville being the fifth-, sixth- and 12th-most populous cities in Indiana, respectively, they will receive the 21st-, 22nd- and 25th-most funding in the state.

It’s still helpful to receive the dollars, which will help us in several areas, including the Pleasant Street stormwater and drainage work and getting sewer connections to Wayne Township, which has been an area of focus for several years for the city,” Noblesville Deputy Mayor Matt Light said.

Because of receiving fewer dollars, Noblesville won’t be able to help in COVID-19 recovery efforts for small businesses as much as it originally planned, and the funds it has for the projects it can do are significantly less than expected. So far, the city has received half of the funds it is eligible for, with the second half to be distributed in 2022. During its July 13 meeting, the Noblesville Common Council approved $855,000 of the funds to be distributed in bonuses to essential personnel that worked during the pandemic and or work to begin on Pleasant Street’s stormwater and drainage projects. Wastewater infrastructure development for the connections to Wayne Township also will begin this year.

On July 13, Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen sent a letter to the Dept. of Treasury requesting that it reconsider the allocation formula for the fund distribution.

“I respectfully request that the Treasury Department modify the Interim Final Rule to restore funding for local units throughout the county that have deferred their entitlement status. Congress relied on the initial classifications and funding figures released in early March when it enacted the American Rescue Plan,” a summary of the letter reads. “The City of Noblesville and other similarly situated cities that have experienced substantial economic disruption and revenue loss from the COVID-19 pandemic are not being treated equitably by the rule’s allocation formula and will experience challenges in recovery from the public health emergency if the allocations are not modified back to the initial figures.”

Approximately 140 other cities across the nation also saw a loss of funds because of the ruling causing those cities to move categories.

How cities compare 

The 25 Indiana cities documented in the May U.S. Treasury report of appropriated funds, with each city’s estimated population from 2019.

CITY

Pop.

Expected Funds

Actual Funds

Diff.

Ind. Fund Rank

Indianapolis

876K

237.4 M

232.4 M

-5 M

1

Fort Wayne

270K

50.7 M

50.8 M

+100K

6

Evansville

118K

67.5 M

64.5 M

-3 M

3

South Bend

102K

63.2 M

58.9 M

-4.3 M

4

Carmel

101K

21.1 M

7.5 M

-13.6M

21

Fishers

95K

19.9 M

6.9 M

-13 M

22

Bloomington

86.8K

22.3 M

22.1 M

-200K

11

Hammond

75.5K

53.3 M

51.4 M

-1.9 M

5

Gary

74.9K

83.7 M

80.3 M

-3.4 M

2

Lafayette

71.7K

16.7 M

15.9 M

-800K

16

Muncie

68 K

31.8 M

32.3 M

+500K

8

Noblesville

64.7K

13.5 M

6.2 M

-7.3 M

25

Terre Haute

60.6K

38.2 M

35.9 M

-2.3 M

7

Greenwood

59.5K

9 M

6.6 M

-2.4 M

24

Kokomo

58 K

20.6 M

19.9 M

-700K

12

Anderson

54.8K

23.2 M

23.1 M

-100 K

10

Elkhart

52.4K

19 M

18 M

-1 M

13

W. Lafayette

51 K

11.1 M

11.4 M

+300K

19

Mishawaka

50.4K

12 M

11.9 M

-100K

17

Columbus

48 K

7.8 M

8.6 M

+800K

20

New Albany

36.8K

16.8 M

16.9 M

+100K

14

Goshen

34.2K

6.8 M

6.7 M

-100K

23

Michigan City

31 K

16.7 M

16.5 M

-200K

15

East Chicago

27.8K

33.4 M

31.2 M

-2.2M

9

LaPorte

21.6K

11.7 M

11.5 M

-200K

18


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