Charlotte editor to town: We got some more money, honeys! Now what should we do with it?
By Chea Waters Evans
Across the country, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, intended to provide relief from covid-related economic hardship, will put about $350 billion into the economy.
Vermont will receive more than $1.25 billion.
In June, Charlotte got the news that there’s $396,243.14 in Non-Entitlement Unit local government funding on the way. On August 20, Chittenden County’s town disbursement figures came out, allocating another $735,331.08 in ARPA funds to Charlotte.
As of Labor Day, Charlotte will be sitting on a cool $1,131,574.22.
According to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns’ website, “City councils and Selectboards will have discretion over how to spend their allocations. The State of Vermont will not be allowed to add any additional rules to the roughly $200 million distributed directly to municipalities.”
That sounds exciting, but it’s not like the Selectboard is going to use the money to take everyone in town on a yacht cruise in Ibiza with Beyoncé and JAY-Z. There are some rules already in place. Here’s how the VLCT lays them out:
“ARPA includes four broad criteria outlining eligible uses:
To respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality;
To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers;
For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID–19 public health emergency relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency; and
To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.”
The Selectboard is already in motion on this issue; more to come later this week on how it could look for Charlotters.
Republished from the Charlotte Bridge, a community newspaper for the southern Chittenden County town of Charlotte