The federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provided $1.9 trillion for economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Mad River Valley towns are still in the process of determining what they will do with the portion of the funds they each received and are accepting requests from local groups and organizations.
The town of Duxbury received $390,098 from ARPA funds. It has used $5,600 on elections and remote meeting equipment. Duxbury town clerk Maureen Harvey said that $43,000 has additionally been allocated for digitizing land records and $9,000 to be used for parcel maps. Requests to use ARPA funding may be submitted to the town’s select board for review and approval.
Fayston received $397,571 in ARPA funds. “Over the past year, the select board has been soliciting written proposals for the allocation of Fayston's ARPA funds,” select board chair Jared Cadwell said. “The SB has included ARPA fund requests in its bi-weekly regular agenda. The SB has received and reviewed requests/proposals from most of its municipal boards/committees and departments (front office, zoning, listers and highway department). In addition, the SB has received requests for funding from MRV organizations such as Neck of the Woods and the MRV Housing Coalition.”
A separate ARPA funds meeting was held Monday, September 12, and select board members reviewed requests received so far, including one from Mad River Valley Television seeking $250 to help established an internet connection in Harwood’s lower fields. MRVTV seeks to collaborate with the six towns in the school district to install wireless connective extenders from the main school building to the lower sports field. This will let MRVTV live-stream athletic events for parents, students and others who can’t attend in person.
In response to that request, MRVTV received an email after this week’s meeting noting that the select board would make a determination by the end of the year.
Moretown received $497,000 in ARPA funds. A committee makes recommendations for the use of those funds and the select board determines where to allocate the funds. According to select board assistant Sasha Elwell, the only use of the funds that has been approved to date is the use of $50,000 on CV Fiber to bring high speed internet to the town.
Waitsfield received $506,081 in ARPA funds. Groups or organizations may request funds from the town’s ARPA committee and the select board makes final decisions. “The committee intends to have an intake form that groups can fill out for their specific requests,” town administrator Annie Decker-Dell'Isola said. “The committee is still working on that form but hope to have it ready soon. The entirety of Waitsfield ARPA award remains aside from approximately $1,000 that was spent on the new meeting room setup (TV and rolling stand, etc.).”
Warren received (or will receive) $499,505. “The [select] board has not had a thorough discussion on all the uses of the ARPA funding and how it will review requests,” Warren town administrator Cindi Jones said. “It is a discussion in the near future for the select board. They may even have discussion at this year’s Town Meeting. The money has to be allocated by 2024 and spent by 2026. Some has been allocated for grant matches such as the VHB downtown traffic calming project manager Bob Ackland and that’s about $28,000. The Mad River Housing Coalition did approach the board on funding if all three towns had signed off in participating, but that did not happen. That is the only group that has approached the town on the ARPA fund uses. About $32,675.03 has been allocated with the grant match and small purchases. The total allocation for Warren is $499,505, which all has not been received yet.”
Local towns will continue to accept requests for ARPA funding in the coming months.