Sharon selectmen approve ARPA funding requests
SHARON —Applications from two local organizations for ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding were approved by the Board of Selectmen at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 8.
In response to a request from ARPA Committee representative Jill Drew for prompt consideration of applications from the Sharon Audubon and the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon, both described as time-sensitive, the selectmen voted to approve the funding requests. First Selectman Brent Colley and Selectman Dale Jones voted in favor.
Selectman Casey Flanagan abstained from the vote, emphasizing that he was not opposed to the requests and that he agreed with the reasons offered for the approval. He said, however, that he would prefer to wait until all of the applications are collected and presented to the selectmen for consideration.
The Sharon Audubon will receive $15,000 in ARPA funding. Describing the application, Drew explained that the organization had been hit hard by the pandemic but had managed to keep going despite financial stress. The funds will be used to hire staff.
The Hotchkiss Library of Sharon’s request for $3,000 in ARPA funding will support expansion of its mental health programming, assisting with the pandemic’s effects on mental well-being.
“At least a dozen applications have been received,” Drew reported. “We have other applications, particularly involving mental health issues and children.”
A full report is expected by the beginning of April, Drew said, adding that in the past two weeks, the landscape has changed due to new ARPA guidelines.