Beacon Falls voters approve ARP spending plan

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By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

Beacon Falls First Selectman Gerard Smith discusses the town’s plan for spending American Rescue Plan funding during a town meeting Oct. 6 at Town Hall. –ANDREAS YILMA

BEACON FALLS — Voters last week unanimously approved the town’s plan for spending funds from the federal American Rescue Plan.

The town is slated to receive a little more than $1.8 million, divided over two years, in funding. The funds are designed to help cities and towns meet needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild.

The town has already received its first allocation of $920,702, but has not spent it yet. Eighteen voters all agreed at an Oct. 6 town meeting with the town’s vision for the money.

“I’m glad that they (voters) all approved it and we’re looking forward to spend the other million bucks next year,” First Selectman Gerard Smith said.

The money will be used to buy two heart monitors for Beacon Hose Co. No. 1, storm water and sewer improvements, and upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant.

Federal guidelines for the spending the money include supporting public health expenditures, addressing negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic, replacing lost public revenue, providing premium pay for essential workers, and investing in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury website.

Smith said officials felt the town’s plan was best to help spread the $5 million voters approved bonding last year for road work a little further.

Smith said the town expects to receive the second allocation of funds by June 2022. The town has to spend all of the funds by 2024.