The Mills administration on Wednesday unveiled a new program aimed at distributing some $119.2 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to local governments across Maine.

The funds are part of more than $4.5 billion in ARPA relief flowing to Maine and are earmarked specifically for municipal governments.

The administration said the state had already received $59.6 million of the funds for municipalities from the U.S. Treasury and was now working to distribute those funds. To do that the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services has set up an online portal where city and town officials can submit their requests for funding.

“The unprecedented Federal funding we will distribute through this new program will help towns and cities across Maine rebuild infrastructure, bolster services, and make a real difference in the lives of their citizens,” Gov. Janet Mills said in a prepared statement.

Catherine Conlow, executive director of Maine Municipal Association, which represents the 477 cities and towns in Maine, said municipal officials were pleased they would be able to soon access the funding. Conlow said local, county and state officials have been meeting to explore opportunities for investing the unprecedented aid.

James Gardner, president of the MMA and the town manager for Easton, thanked the members of Maine’s congressional delegation for their efforts in securing the funds.


“I look forward to seeing and experiencing the positive impacts that these investments will have on our communities, region, and state,” Gardner said.

The funds will be used for everything from affordable to broadband expansion as well as projects aimed at addressing climate change and sewer and water infrastructure upgrades or repairs.

The funding will be released to cities, towns and counties based on a federal formula that is pegged to the entities’ most recent budget and will be capped at no more than 75 percent of the total budget.

The amounts municipalities will be eligible for will range from just a few thousand dollars to several million.

Jurisdictions that receive more than $5 million – a list that includes Portland, Bangor, Lewiston, Auburn, Biddeford and all but one county – will have to file quarterly reports, while towns and smaller counties will report annually. In Maine, the state and Cumberland County also will have to file annual “recovery plan performance reports” detailing the goals of the expenditures and key “performance indicators” to measure success.

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