ARPA funding update

La Plata County received approximately $10.9 million from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the 117th United States Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, to speed up the country's recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing recession. In the fall of 2021, the Board of County Commissioners initiated a public process to hear proposals on the best uses for the funds and  the BoCC has funded several projects and has earmarked the remaining funds to address housing, broadband and the social impacts caused by the pandemic. 

A breakdown of the funding:
-$300,000 for a new HVAC unit at the Durango/La Plata County Emergency Communications (9-1-1) Center
-$275,000 to Durango Fire Protection District for an ambulance specifically designed for mental health crises
-$331,187 to San Juan Basin Public Health Department for an opioid risk-reduction program

Of the remaining $10 million, the BoCC has allocated the funds into the following 3 categories:
HOUSING ($4 million)
  • Revolving loan fund - $1.5 million toward the purchase of the Westside Mobile Home Park; $200,000 for the Triangle Mobile Home Park - saving a combined 70 workforce housing units
  • $1 million is pledged for assistance for La Plata County's homeless population, working in conjunction with the City of Durango.
BROADBAND INTERNET ($2.5 million) 
Dept. of Local Affairs (DOLA) grant match (pending, not yet awarded)
  • $500,000 match for fiber installation on Highway 151 
  • $206,500 match for a carrier-neutral data center to expand fiber in La Plata County and create redundancy in the region
SOCIAL IMPACTS ($3.5 million)
  • These funds were distributed on the recommendation of the Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado, which was awarded a contract to assist in prioritizing ARPA spending in the Social Impacts category.
    • La Plata Food Equity Coalition – Language justice and interpreter pool through the Community Language Resources Group - $115,000.
    • Ignacio Community Library - Bookmobile vehicle & program - $190,000.
    • La Plata County Collaborative Management – Wrap-around Service with a focus on families relocated from Purple Cliffs (Partner with La Plata Youth Services & LPC Dept. of Human Services) - $25,000.
    • La Plata Youth Services – The Hub Therapeutic Program - $625,000.
    • Local First Foundation – Mental Health & Economic Support for La Plata County residents - $25,000.
    • Manna (with La Plata Family Centers Coalition, Old Fort, Good Food Collective, Durango Food Bank) – Regional food security support - $800,000.
    • Oak Tree Youth Resources – youth homelessness - $40,000.
    • Pine River Shares – Pine River Valley Food Security/Field to Fork (F2F) - $390,000.
    • Resilient Colorado – Resilient Roots/Resilience Works - $300,000.
    • Southwest Conservation Corps (w/ Great Old Broads, La Plata Open Space Conservancy, Mountain Studies Institute, San Juan Mountains Association) – Youth Environmental Engagement - $350,000.
    • United Way – Team UP for Students - $350,000.
    • Housing Solutions of the Southwest – Southwest Horizon Ranch Water Well Project - $55,000.
    • La Plata West Water Authority – Water fill station on Dry Side - $100,000.