Leyden to hire consultant to manage ARPA funds

  • Following a vote at Monday’s Selectboard meeting, Leyden will hire a consultant to manage the town’s allotment of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Staff photo/MARY BYRNE

Staff Writer
Published: 1/26/2022 2:49:19 PM
Modified: 1/26/2022 2:48:02 PM

LEYDEN — The Selectboard approved a motion Monday night to hire a consultant to oversee and manage Leyden’s allotment of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to ensure the town gets “full use” out of the award.

The $1.9 trillion federal relief package that was signed into law last March provides Leyden with roughly $74,833 that can be used to respond to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 or its negative economic impacts, as premium pay for essential workers, as revenue replacement and for infrastructure projects like broadband, water and sewer.

“I think it would be worth it for the town to hire a consultant,” commented Selectboard Chair Jeff Neipp. “It would be a shame to return some of that money.”

Neipp explained that of the $63,000 previously awarded to the town in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) funding, about $22,000 was unused and therefore returned to the state.

Selectboard member Erica Jensen confirmed that the consulting fee would come directly out of the ARPA award.

Neipp referenced the Bernardston Selectboard’s approval of a similar motion last month to explore options for outsourcing the management and reporting of the funds.

“They make it so difficult to use those funds,” Neipp said. “I think, for the town, it would be better for us to hire an expert on how the money can be spent and direct it to those resources.”

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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