Northborough selectmen cancel planned ARPA meeting

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Northborough selectmen cancel planned ARPA meeting
Northborough Selectmen discussed on Monday the prospect of rescheduling a planned meeting to ARPA funding. Also pictured is Town Administrator John Coderre. (Photo/via Northborough Remote Meetings)

NORTHBOROUGH – The Northborough Board of Selectmen has canceled a planned meeting to discuss funds the town is slated to receive through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Speaking at a Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, Chair Jason Perreault said there has been feedback that there hasn’t been adequate public notice for the ARPA meeting, which was due to take place on Thursday.

“From that perspective, I would like to propose to the board that we cancel this meeting scheduled for this week, with the expectation of holding a meeting at a future date when some of the other things that are going on at the moment are settled down and both the board and staff can focus more directly on that particular issue,” Perreault said.

Other selectmen voiced their support for Perreault’s proposal.

Perreault elaborated that there were concerns with Christian holidays taking place this week.

This week is Holy Week, and this Thursday is Holy Thursday.

April vacation in the Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough is taking place next week. Northborough’s Town Meeting is also scheduled for April 25.

“We have more than enough to do to prepare for that without this other significant issue,” Perreault said of Town Meeting.

Northborough considers ARPA plans

Northborough is slated to receive about $4.5 million in federal APRA funds. Questions of how the town should spend those funds have been the topic of discussion in recent weeks and months.

Last month, Town Administrator John Coderre presented a list of 10 proposed ARPA projects during a selectmen’s meeting.

At that time, the selectmen decided to release ARPA funds for several projects, including repairs to drains at Proctor Elementary School, the creation of a community wellness initiative called BeWellNorthborough. Funds also went toward an affordable housing project.

The selectmen additionally voted to release funds for town projects at Assabet Park and Ellsworth McAfee Park, which had been impacted by supply chain issues from the pandemic.

Northborough selectmen cancel planned ARPA meeting
John Morse moderated a discussion about APRA held during a community meeting at Trinity Church in Northborough last month. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

Residents gathered at Trinity Church in the days following that meeting to discuss potential uses of ARPA funds.

Ideas shared there ranged from the formation of a small business grant program to the construction of a teen center.

Meeting to be rescheduled

Though delayed, Northborough officials still plan to hold their ARPA meeting.

Speaking on Monday, Perreault suggested pushing the meeting to a date after Town Meeting.

In the meantime, Selectman Julianne Hirsh invited residents to email Selectmen with suggestions on how they would like the meeting to be run.

The Selectmen can be reached through the board’s contact form at https://www.town.northborough.ma.us/user/61/contact.

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