Board votes to seek extension on Cares Act funding for coronavirus relief

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Shrewsbury – Board of Selectmen Chair Beth Casavant reviewed a letter with her colleagues Oct. 6 that would be sent to federal elected officials asking that the use of Cares Act funding be extended beyond the current deadline of Dec. 30.

Town Manager Kevin Mizikar added further that all Cares Act funds need to be expended by Dec. 30 because that was the date set for them to expire.

He said that it was in April and no one expected that it would still be necessary.

An analysis of public building expenditures was conducted. Using funding for enhanced cleaning costs of the schools as an example, a cost estimate of $420,000 would still be needed from Jan. 1 through the end of the school year.

“If Cares Act funding isn’t extended, we are kind of on our own,” he said.  “It’s unfortunate because the other side of the coin is that we don’t have sufficient expenses between now and Dec. 30 to expend the entire $3.3 million in Cares Act when coupled with the $1.4 million that the schools got.

“It would be a waste of funding in my opinion if the timeline isn’t extended because we could really use those funds between now and at least June 30 if not beyond,” he continued.

Casavant shared that she had included language asking if they could use part of that funding to replace lost tax revenue.

Selectman John Samia suggested to restrict the use of funding for lost revue until direct costs were taken care of first, in keeping with the purpose of the grant.

All agreed with the added suggestions and the board proceeded to a unanimous vote of approval.