Prospect to issue survey to residents regarding ARPA funds distribution

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Prospect Town Council in its Tuesday meeting approved for the town’s American Rescue Plan Act Funds Subcommittee to distribute a survey to residents to get public feedback on how to spend its COVID-19 relief funds. Andreas Yilma Republican-American

By Andreas Yilma Citizen’s News

PROSPECT — The town’s American Rescue Plan Act Funds Subcommittee will send out a survey to residents to get feedback on how to spend its COVID-19 relief funds.

The town received $1.4 million out of its total $2.8 million federal American Rescue Plan funds in June. The ARPA Funds Subcommittee, consisting of Town Council members Theresa C. Graveline, Kathryn Zandri, Megan Patchkofsky and Michael Palmerie Jr., finalized a questionnaire after having a couple meetings.

The Town Council approved in its meeting Tuesday for the subcommittee to distribute a seven question survey to residents.

“The subcommittee would really like to get that survey out to as many people in the public for their input as we could possibly manage,” ARPA Funds Subcommittee Chair Graveline said at the meeting.

Federal guidelines for 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.

The ARP funds survey has questions including a public health response, replace public sector revenue loss, water or sewer infrastructure projects, to support people negatively affected economically, to pay essential workers’ wages, to support broadband infrastructure and any other suggestions residents have for the funds.

Graveline estimates the survey will be and in various public locations including the Prospect Public Library, Prospect Community Center, Prospect Senior Center senior center, LaBonne’s Market, Town Hall and other local businesses by the first week of February. Every location will have a drop box to send the surveys.

“We’re really gathering a lot info and trying to make a plan at this point,” Graveline said subsequently.

The questionnaire should be on the town website by next week. The survey will also be published in the February edition of The Prospect Pages. The deadline to return the surveys will be Feb. 28 according to Graveline.

“The whole purpose is not to be statistical about it,” Graveline said. “It’s to get a sense of where the people will like the money spent.”

Town Council Chairman Jeffrey Slapikas said subsequently officials are just trying to expedite the system.

“I think it’s a good thing and I think they’re (subcommittee) moving in the right direction,”

Graveline said officials will share the information and the plans once they review the surveys.

“I think it’s very important for resident to weigh in on how these ARP funds will be used to benefit the town,” Graveline said.