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Sharon Town Hall parking lot plans; more ARPA awards

SHARON — Plans to improve drainage and add lighting to the town hall parking lot were updated at the regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday, July 12.

First Selectman Brent Colley reported that a project engineer visited and met with town crew that will be doing some of the grading work. Colley noted that the parking lot was last attended to in 1996.

Anticipated “intelligent” lighting plans will call for 12-foot lights in seven locations around the lot, beaming downward and programmed to certain hours, Colley reported. Raised islands with curbing were eliminated from the plan because they would hinder winter plowing.

The project must be completed before August of 2023, Colley said.

A neighboring resident expressed concern about drainage plans and any possible effect on nearby wells. Colley responded that plans for drainage pools should help and that winter plowing can be done in a different direction.

Aligning with planning suggestions from the Sharon Energy and Environmental Commission, Colley suggested that an island of plantings set below grade level could absorb rainwater, lessening the volume flowing toward the drainage pools.

ARPA awards

While the town awaits receipt of the second half of the allocated federal American Rescue Plan Act funds, the selectmen made some additional awards to individuals and non-profits. From the first half of the funds, a total of $21,000 remains, but the selectmen voted to pre-award more in advance of the expected funding.

Individuals and families suffering from the impact of the pandemic received a total of $3,500.

Among the awards to non-profit organizations was $10,000 for the Chore Service in recognition of the need to pay higher wages and to meet increased requests for help. Selectman Dale Jones pointed out that the funding will make it possible for older people to remain in their homes.

The selectmen also approved $50,000 for the Sharon Housing Authority to help with maintenance of its complexes.

The programs at The Equus Effect received $50,000 to assist with maintenance, finishing construction of a sheltered domed ring and new roofing, while raising wages and hiring personnel due to demand.

“We would love to be a resource for this community,” said Equus Executive Director Jane Strong in underscoring the value of the program to essential workers and frontline personnel, fostering a relationship with horses to help lighten the continuing stresses of dealing with COVID-19.

Applications for ARPA funds are still being received and may be submitted through the town website.

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