The town of Warren will be receiving $499,505 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, which has to be allocated by 2024 and spent by 2026. Vermont received a total of $2.7 billion in aid from ARPA. ARPA states, “This bill provides additional relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19 on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses.”
“This is about foundational and transformative change,” Governor Scott’s 2021 ARPA proposal stated. “It has to be transformational, one-time opportunities to make impact,” Warren Select Board member Bob Ackland said at the select board’s October 11 meeting.
The select board approved creating a seven-member committee to collect and evaluate potential ways the funds could be used in Warren. The committee will consist of two select board members, one planning commissioner, two community members at-large, and two Warren students. The committee will develop a mission statement and guidelines for the town’s intentions with the funds and create an application form for local groups to submit their ideas for the use of ARPA funds. Select board members Devin Klein Corrigan and Andy Cunningham will head the committee and designate the other members.
Also discussed at the October 11 select board meeting was Sugarbush’s proposed changes to stop signs, crosswalks and speed limits in the resort area to encourage safety leading up to and at Lincoln Peak. The select board approved striping two crosswalks on Inferno Road, one connecting the pedestrian path on the south side of Sugarbush Access Road to the Lincoln Peak parking lots and one between the Snow Creek driveway and the Lot G pedestrian path.
Margo Wade, director of planning and regulatory compliance at Sugarbush Resort, also requested changing the three-way stop at Sugarbush Access Road, Sugarbush Village Road, Inferno Road and Forest Drive to a four-way stop. The select board agreed to try a four-way stop this season to determine whether it helps with traffic congestion and safety.
Wade additionally requested the speed limit on Sugarbush Access Road from The Bridges up to the mountain be changed from 40 mph to 30 mph. The select board will hold a public hearing to discuss the change in speed limit.
Warren librarian Marie Schmukal also gave an update on library use and programming at the October 11 meeting. In-person library programming has resumed. Digital circulation is up from 18% in 2019 to 25%. The library has been distributing masks and rapid antigen COVID tests. It also installed a Story Walk on the Mad River Path by the kiosk at Brooks Field. With a second full-time staff person, the library has been able to add Tuesday hours and expand programming, including a monthly book club and trivia nights at Hostel Tevere, in partnership with the Joslin Memorial Library in Waitsfield.