Marlborough to use ‘large majority’ of ARPA money for water, sewer projects

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Crews respond to a water main break on Donald Lynch Blvd. on May 11. A recent lawsuit against the City of Marlborough has made a number of allegations regarding alleged mismanagement of the city’s water and sewer infrastructure. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)
Crews respond to a water main break on Donald Lynch Blvd. The city now plans to use funds allocated through the American Rescue Plan to help improve its water infrastructure.
(Photo/Dakota Antelman)

MARLBOROUGH – Marlborough intends to use “the large majority” of allocated American Rescue Plan funds for investments in water and sewer projects, according to a letter from Mayor Arthur Vigeant to the City Council this month. 

The Marlborough City Council voted unanimously to accept funding allocated through the federal CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 at a meeting on Dec. 20

Marlborough received just over $3.5 million in CARES funding, drawn from the $2.2 trillion federal stimulus act initially passed in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the American economy. 

Those funds covered costs “associated with the Board of Health, PPE supplies, unemployment claims, HVAC, and cleaning of city buildings,” Vigeant told the City Council.

The Council also approved a further $11.8 million in funding from the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, which was allocated through the $1.9 trillion America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Vigeant wrote that the ARPA funds can only be used to address the public health emergency and its negative economic effects, to invest in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure, to make up revenue lost because of the pandemic or to provide essential workers with premium pay.

These letters were attached to the City Council’s packet for that meeting on Dec. 20 where Councilors voted to accept this funding.

During discussion, Councilor Samantha Perlman asked if the council would be notified in the future of how the ARPA funds will be specifically used.

City Council President Michael Ossing said that Vigeant would inform the Council about individual projects as they’re identified.  

“So, if you have a water or sewer project you want, let the mayor know,” said Ossing.

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