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American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Grants: Alaska ARPA Grant FAQs

Grants for Alaska archives, libraries and museums, available through funding from the American Rescue Plan Act

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

Who can apply?

Alaska's libraries, archives, museums and cultural centers are eligible to apply. Per IMLS, museums include, but are not limited to, aquariums, arboretums, art museums, botanical gardens, children's/youth museums, general museums (those having two or more significant disciplines), historic houses/sites, history museums, natural history/anthropology museums, nature centers, planetariums, science/technology centers, specialized museums (limited to a single distinct subject), and zoological parks.

How much grant money can I get?

For the Easy ARPA grant, you may apply for up to $3,500 including shipping and indirect cost. Libraries may apply for an additional $2,500 for library collection materials, for a total of $6,000. The Easy ARPA grant is non-competitive.

The ARPA Project grant is competitive. The maximum award for project grants that benefit individual LAMs is $40,000. Projects that serve more than an individual LAM or have regional or statewide significance may request more funding.

Can I apply for both types of grants?

Yes. Each institution may apply for one Easy ARPA grant and one ARPA Project grant.

Does applying for either grant disqualify me from applying for other federal or state grants, such as those offered in the spring of 2022?

No. Institutions are still eligible to apply for other federal or state grants.

Do I need to finalize reporting on other LAM grants to be eligible for the ARPA grants?

No. Institutions with outstanding LAM grants may apply for ARPA grants.

How can I spend the grant funds?

See the list of allowable expenses for details on uses for each ARPA grant.

When is the deadline and what is the notification process?

All applications are due by September 15, 2021. Once a grant is awarded, you will receive a grant award letter and grant agreement which will need to be signed and returned. Grant funds will be electronically deposited upon return of the signed grant agreement.

How do I set up an account to receive my grant money electronically?

The State of Alaska Electronic Payments Program uses Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) to transfer payments directly to a vendor's bank account.

The program is designed to transmit payments to vendors more quickly and efficiently, and to reduce the cost of make those payments.

View instructions on how to set up a vendor account with the State of Alaska and submit the form For Vendors Doing Business with the State of Alaska to the Dept. of Administration, Division of Finance.

What percentage of children in a school district must be on free or reduced lunch for a community to be considered underserved?

According to Title 1 guidelines, 40% of children must be on free or reduced lunch to be considered underserved.

How will grant applications be evaluated?

The Easy ARPA grants are non-competitive. All eligible institutions and expenses will be funded. The ARPA Project grants are competitive. Our staff will review both types of grants to confirm that expenses are eligible and the project responds to COVID-19 impacts and addresses IMLS goals and objectives.

Are there any special rules that I have to follow?

Yes. IMLS confirms that all LAMs applying for ARPA funds to purchase computer equipment, to buy WiFI hotspots to loan, or to pay internet service fees to access the internet, are subject to the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). CIPA required that grant applicants must filter Internet access and must have internet safety policies in place. See 20 U.S.C. § 9134(f).

 See Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)  Federal Communications Commission (fcc.gov) for background information concerning CIPA.

For CIPA FAQ's, see ALA's An Update on Filtering (Although this guide is for CIPA scenarios for IMLS Cares Act Funding, the principles are applicable to ARPA funding scenarios)

For specific questions, contact Valerie Oliver State E-rate Coordinator valerie.oliver@alaska.gov. Find assistance with specific filtering products or contact Daniel Cornwall, Library Technology Consultant.

Who can I contact with questions or help filling out my application?

Archives: Leah Geibel, Archivist (907) 465-2329

Libraries: Julie Niederhauser, Public Library Coordinator (907) 465-2916

Museums: Anjuli Grantham, Curator of Statewide Services (907) 465-4806

How do I find out if we already have a DUNS number or register for a new one?

A DUNS number is a unique nine-character number used to identify an organization and is issued by Dun & Bradstreet. Registering for a DUNS number is free.

Search to see if your organization already has a DUNS number. If not, register for a DUNS number online.

We're a borough institution. Can I use my town's DUNS number, or do I need to set up a unique number especially for my institution?

Borough institutions may use their town's or city's DUNS number if they don't already have one of their own.

Is there a match requirement?

No, you do not need to spend any matching funds for this grant.

Do I actually have to spend all the money by the deadline on September 30, 2022, or I can I just encumber it for future expenses?

The grant funds must be spent by September 30, 2022. The state fiscal department will not accept encumbrances of the funds.

What do I do if I have money left over? How do I give it back to you?

SPEND IT, all of it, do not give anything back. When creating your plan, make sure you are able to spend the full amount you are asking for.

Do I need to get bids or quotes for expenses?

Under Federal regulations (2 CFR §200.439), any single item that costs over $5,000 needs prior approval from IMLS. We'll ask you for information on what the item is, who it is for, for what purpose, cost, and what goal it contributes to the Alaska State Library's five-year plan.

Will the grant pay for shipping & handling? Installation? Construction?

Yes to shipping & handling. No to installation of fixed equipment. No to construction of any kind.

Can we apply for less than the maximum amount of the grant?

Yes, but we encourage you to apply for the full amount, especially if applying for the Easy ARPA grant.

Do I need to include an indirect cost in my grant application?

No, but it is strongly encouraged. Your institution may charge an indirect rate of up to 10% or a specific negotiated federal rate to cover administrative costs.

What will I need to submit with the final report?

A form indicating how you spent the money and the impact of the improvements on your community as well as proof of expenditures in the form of invoices, receipts, photocopies of checks, payment confirmations, etc.