BARNSTABLE — Towns may soon be able to submit requests for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding through an application portal set up by the Board of County Commissioners, now that the Assembly of Delegates has an allocation formula.
As long as proposals fall within the purposes established under rather broad federal ARPA rules, it shouldn’t take long for the money to arrive. Assembly Speaker Patrick Princi said “the money should be readily available” as soon as the commissioners vote on the ordinance the Assembly approved on April 20.
The commissioners were scheduled to take up the ordinance on April 27.
About $20 million in ARPA funds has been sitting in county coffers since last May. The county will receive another $21 million in June.
Eastham Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe said her community knows exactly how to use its allotment. “We are planning to submit for a storm water project in our wastewater plan for next year,” she said.
The Assembly initially wanted $20 million to go directly to towns but compromised with the County Commission on $10 million. The priorities set by the county include infrastructure such as water, wastewater, and broadband projects, as well as uses like child care.
The Assembly approved a distribution formula for $10 million of the ARPA pot, using each town’s population as a base. Allotments were adjusted so that smaller towns like Truro and Wellfleet received a little more than they otherwise would have and larger towns like Falmouth and Barnstable received a little less. The formula is based on 2020 census population figures.
Town allocations from the $10 million follow:
If the amounts had been based solely on population, Truro would have received $32,149 less, Wellfleet $46,716 less, Provincetown $48,000 less, and Eastham $50, 236 less than the adjusted amounts.
Distribution of the remaining $31 million will be done via the ordinance process, which requires a public hearing along with approval by both the Assembly and County Commission. Individual proposals for the first $10 million won’t have to go through the ordinance process. Money will be released after county staff determine a town’s proposed use fits the criteria.
Truro Town Manager Darrin Tangeman said that the town is poised to submit its project proposals. “We have the two projects (broadband planning and comprehensive wastewater management planning) that are ready to be submitted through the portal,” he said.