Hudson Select Board approves ARPA funding recommendations


Hudson Select Board approves ARPA funding recommendations
Hudson Select Board members meet during their April 11 meeting. (Photo/via HudTV)

HUDSON – The Hudson Select Board voted 5-0 earlier this month to authorize an updated funding plan for the town’s roughly $5.9 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation.

The money will go to a series of infrastructure projects, among other things, capping an allocation process that has seen multiple points of community outreach from town officials to gauge funding priorities. 

Plan split between Phase 1, Phase 2

The Select Board already approved a “Phase 1” plan for $3.9 million in ARPA money last year.

Executive Assistant Thomas Gregory more recently detailed a Phase 2 plan in a proposal to the Select Board on April 11.

Gregory explained that, in addition to public listening sessions, this plan also emerged from a review of funding proposals from town department heads requesting ARPA support.

“Residents expressed a variety of comments related to public health and safety, green energy initiatives, improving efficiency and transparency for municipal operations, and providing resources to those most impacted by the pandemic,” Gregory wrote of that earlier public feedback in his Phase 2 proposal.

Phase 1 marked dollars for a variety of projects and purchases:

    • $639,230 – Public Health Services / COVID Response
    • $1,400,000 – Culvert Replacement – Main and Houghton Streets 
    • $1,000,000 – Wastewater Treatment Plant Phase 2 Upgrades 
    • $55,000 – Stormwater Improvements – Green and Florence Streets 
    • $25,000 – Mental Health Programming / Council on Aging
    • $750,000 – Fire Pumper
    • $61,100 – Fire Command Vehicle

Phase 2 now allocates an additional $2 million to new efforts:

    • $645,000 – HVAC Upgrades – Mulready and Forest Ave 
    • $278,975 – e-Permitting Software Acquisition / Implementation 
    • $308,158 – Library Improvements
    • $150,000 – Culvert Replacement – Chestnut and Main Streets 
    • $325,000 – Parks and Playground Improvements
    • $15,190 – AEDs and First Responder Kits for Police 
    • $284,832  – unencumbered / administrative costs (consultant) 

HVAC upgrades at the Mulready and Forest Avenue elementary schools will involve replacing “decades-old uninvent ventilation systems” to improve clean airflow and efficiency in the buildings, according to Gregory.

Money for software will implement a new e-permitting program across departments. This will include the digitization of paper records, Gregory continued.

Library funding will augment the Hudson Public Library’s Services and Technology plan.

The Chestnut and Main Street culvert project, meanwhile, is addressing a 72-year-old structure that has recently forced a road closure due to its continuing deterioration. Without ARPA money, Hudson would have to wait until the 2023 Annual Town Meeting to fund repairs, Gregory wrote.

Park and playground money will make improvements at Moulton Field Playground, Wood Park and Apsley Park, while the $284,832 allocation for unencumbered/administrative costs will, in part, help pay for a consultant hired by the town to ensure compliance with federal ARPA reporting guidelines. 

AED money will put Automatic External Defibrillators and first responder kits in police vehicles that don’t already have such resources. 

Select Board considered motion for additional review

The Select Board’s eventual vote to approve these ARPA recommendations came after a motion to send the funding proposal back for additional review failed by a 3-2 margin.

Select Board member Shawn Sadowski put that motion forward, asking that an additional review process look for ways to give additional compensation to essential personnel who have worked during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I would like the town to see if we can do something for our essential personnel and our first responders,” Sadowski said.

Sadowski said that there would have to be an established threshold for essential personnel to qualify for this compensation.

Gregory emphasized that ARPA’s definition of essential workers is very broad, noting that it is not limited to public employees.

“The potential issue that may arise is, if the town votes to give premium pay to some of its employees, it may prompt a response from the larger community,” he said.

Select Board Chair Scott Duplisea said that he supported doing whatever the town could to help essential personnel during the pandemic, but said that it would be impractical to retroactively determine who would and would not be eligible for this compensation.

“To me, it’s a really good idea to bring up, I just don’t think it’s achievable,” Duplisea said.

Duplisea also said that determining how much money to award and whom to award it to would be a monumental task to assign to Gregory.

Select Board members Sadowski and James Quinn voted in favor of this additional review, while the other three members voted “no.”

The full set of ARPA funding recommendations, which have now been approved, can be viewed online by visiting$file/Memo%20to%20SB%20-%20ARPA%20Recommendations%20040822.pdf.


Hudson to hire consultant to help meet ARPA funding guidelines

Hudson residents, town officials weigh in on uses for ARPA funding

Hudson considers possible uses for ARPA money

ARPA bill earmark will help Marlborough ‘modernize’ permitting process, officials say

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


No posts to display