Applications for ARPA Funds Now Being Accepted in Old Saybrook
As the country attempts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic ramifications, the federal government has made funding available for municipalities. The Town of Old Saybrook has opened an application process for organizations, nonprofits, businesses, and town departments to apply for $2.9 million received from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The application period is open until Sept. 1 and applications can be found online at www.oldsaybrookct.gov.
For the past several months the town’s ARPA Ad Hoc Committee had been charged with “researching the best uses of ARPA funds for the Old Saybrook community as permitted by United States Treasury Guidelines, advising the Board of Selectmen on how best to deploy said funds and any other recommendations suitable to the committee as it relates to ARPA funding,” according to a press release.
Now, the committee is opening up applications to for entities in the community to relieve some of the stress from the pandemic. Community-based organizations, nonprofits, businesses and Town of Old Saybrook departments as well as board and commissions are eligible to apply for the funding. The committee will review each application and make a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen. The selectmen will have final say in what projects are approved for funding. People with applications that are approved will be contacted by the town. All ARPA fund received through the town must be spent by Dec. 31, 2026.
Per the town website, possible projects must fit into one of the following four categories to be considered:
1. To respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts;
2. To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to such eligible workers of the recipient, or by providing grants to eligible employers that have eligible workers who performed essential work;
3. For the provision of government services, to the extent of the reduction in revenue of such recipient due to the COVID–19 public health emergency, relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year of the recipient prior to the emergency; and
4. To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.
In particular, a press release on the application process noted that with new ideas with “community-wide impact is encouraged.” Additionally, funding is not available for individuals or families that need assistance. Individuals or families who need assistance should contact Old Saybrook Social Services at 860-395-3188.
In a statement, First Selectman Carl Fortuna said in part “This is an exciting, one-time opportunity for our community to invest $2.9 million in ways that will have long-lasting impact for our residents. The Board of Selectmen and the ARPA Committee have been very thoughtful about how to maximize the impact of these dollars and to make the process of distributing them equitable and transparent.”
Fortuna noted that about $250,000 of APRA funds had already been approved for various projects. Those projects include IT equipment to support hybrid meetings, the installation of a water main on Evans Lane, monetary relief for the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, the Chamber of Commerce, The Old Saybrook Garden Club, and the Old Saybrook Historical Society; help toward Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries, and help to the economic development commission.
The Old Saybrook ARPA funding application, a record of funded projects to date, and a list of FAQs for applicants is posted on the Town of Old Saybrook website at www.oldsaybrookct.gov. For additional questions related to ARPA funding, an email can be sent to email@example.com.