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Sharon distributes half of federal ARPA funding

SHARON — Over the past months since receiving the first half of the town’s total $800,000 allocation of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the town’s ARPA Advisory Committee has created, circulated and collected applications for funding from local families, small businesses and organizations.

Each application described financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic or needs for emergency services and preparedness, including the strengthening of infrastructure.

The local ARPA Advisory Committee determined that applications met the federal ARPA guidelines and brought the applications to the Board of Selectmen for discussion and decision about the amount to be awarded. The selectmen began deliberations at their meeting on Tuesday, May 24, and completed the work at a special meeting on Wednesday, June 1.

Two individuals received ARPA funds totaling about $4,000 at the May 24 selectmen’s meeting,

Additional allotments made at that meeting included $15,000 for the Housatonic Youth Service Bureau, $10,000 for the Greenwoods Counseling Center and $5,000 for the Housatonic Valley Association.

Among the approved allocations made on June 1 was $8,000 for the American Legion Post #126 for furnace replacement. The Edward wine bar received $28,000 for accrued back taxes, rent, payroll and insurance, and the Sharon Tavern received $15,000 for accrued tax bills, utilities and rent. Both businesses requested the funds to offset business costs associated with the pandemic lockdown.

Deer Run Road was allocated $33,170 toward internet access for four homes and the 57 households along Silver Lake Shores Road received $38,000 for drainage and road maintenance, along with lost homeowners’ association fees.

Demonstrating loss of revenue, the Sharon United Methodist Church received funding to cover the pastor’s salary and benefits, along with utility bills and funding owed to their New York Conference.

Sharon Day Care accommodated 18 additional children during the pandemic, requiring renovations; and installed air purifiers to combat the virus, receiving ARPA funding of $10,000 to offset those costs.

The remainder of the first half of the ARPA funds will provide $90,000 for the purchase and installation of a new generator at Town Hall and the Sewer and Water Department will receive $90,000 for three new generators and repair of the existing generator, all said to be vital in dealing with emergency response.

In the coming months, the town will receive the second half of the ARPA allocation and the process will continue. For more information about the ARPA guidelines and the application process, go to www.sharoncovidrecovery.org.

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