The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is a $1.9 trillion stimulus package signed into law on March 11, 2021. The purpose of the stimulus package is to provide support for health and economic impacts directly related to the COVID 19 pandemic. A total of $350 billion was allocated to state, local, territorial and Tribal governments through the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (aka ARPA). The direct payments are distributed through the U.S Department of Treasury and are subject to the requirements specified in the Final Rule issued by Treasury on January 6, 2022.
Wheelock's Share of ARPA Funds is $246,912.91.
More Information about ARPA is found here at the Vermont League of Cities and Towns website.
At its January 18, 2022 meeting the Wheelock Selectboard voted to recruit Wheelock citizens for the purpose of establishing a committee with a specific charge to research eligible uses for Wheelock’s ARPA allocation and other opportunities, with assistance from VLCT, NVDA and others and ultimately recommend actions to selectboard.
The ARPA committee first met on February 3, 2022 and again on March 17, 2022. Vanessa Seguin (Town Clerk/Treasurer) was elected chair and Eileen Boland was elected minute clerk. The group established the regular meeting dates to be the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm.
At its meeting on April 5, 2022 the Selectboard adopted the committee charge recommended by the committee as follows: (1) Research eligible uses for Wheelock’s ARPA allocation ($246,912) and other opportunities, with assistance from VLCT (VT League of Cities and Towns), NVDA (Northeastern VT Development Association) and others. (2) Actively engage with community groups and individuals, to keep people up to date on the Committee’s activities and to solicit and welcome their ideas and participation. (3) Recommend a timeline and criteria to use when selecting projects and create a list of priority projects and/or actions for the Selectboard.
The Selectboard tabled adopting a due date for completion of the committee’s list of priority projects, since ultimately all decisions as to how this money is spent are to be made by the Selectboard.
At its meeting on May 3, 2022 the Selectboard voted to use the majority of ARPA funds for the town hall accessibility project, with the excess funds to be used for other projects recommended by the ARPA committee, with the approval of the Selectboard. Several ideas the committee had discussed were noted: broadband, ADA violations at town hall, energy efficiency needs for town hall, improving town garage, replacing road equipment, recreation trails in Mathewson State Forest, various town office improvements and more.
Selectboard and Committee meeting agendas and minutes are here.