By Justin Roshak, Contributing Writer
HUDSON – The Town of Hudson is expecting to receive $5.9 million in Federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars according to Executive Assistant Thomas Gregory.
Speaking at a June 21 Select Board meeting, Gregory explained that the sum accounts for about seven percent of Hudson’s total expenses in fiscal year 2019, the last year before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021. However, details on implementation are still emerging.
“It’s a big question when and how the funds will be dispersed,” said Gregory.
The money will flow through a direct relationship between Hudson and the federal Treasury Department.
“It’s a little bit different from a typical federal grant, where the dollars flow from the federal government to the Commonwealth, which enters into an agreement with the community,” Gregory explained.
Hudson will formulate its application for funds based on two criteria: its needs and the list of eligible uses established by the Treasury. Public health spending, the economic impact of COVID-19, lost public sector revenue, and water, sewer, and stormwater projects are all eligible uses for ARP Act money.
“It will likely be projects from several of those categories [that receive funding],” said Gregory, who has held preliminary meetings with town department heads.
A meeting is also planned with the superintendent of schools, as education makes up more than half Hudson’s budget.
Hudson could further use ARP funds to offset local spending on existing projects, rather than initiate new ones.
“The public works projects are always ongoing,” Gregory explained. “There’s always a need to move forward with these.”
He stressed, however, that Hudson’s existing projects were not dependent on recovery funds.
“We have projects here in town that are scheduled for funding that are going to move forward regardless,” he said.
Gregory added that he expects additional guidance from the federal government soon.