Mayor Sarno states, “The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected many communities throughout our Commonwealth and across our Nation. To help offset these challenges and provide much-needed relief to our residents and business community as possible, my administration has begun to utilize our local allocation of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. To date, my administration has awarded five (5) rounds of ARPA funding for small businesses, nonprofits, neighborhood councils and local programs and initiatives totaling over $47.3 million, with additional funding scheduled to be awarded in the near future, but we cannot do this alone. It is imperative for the Commonwealth to seize this opportunity to commit and utilize the states allocation of federal money and capital spending authorizations to help our local municipalities recover from the economic challenges of the pandemic. Governor Baker’s FORWARD legislation, H. 4864, which is currently pending before the Joint Committee on Bonding, would help address many of our local and regional projects and create a good four-letter word – JOBS.”
“Time is of the essence,” Mayor Sarno added. “Per the federal law, ARPA funding must be committed by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026. People and businesses are hurting. You must be cognizant that with material and supply chain challenges, the escalating costs of doing business and project planning demands - the clock is ticking. The last thing you want to tell your constituents in your districts is that the federal government clawed back the money.”
Mayor Sarno previously traveled to the State House in Boston in May, per the request of the Baker-Politio Administration, to testify in person before the Joint Committee on Economic Development on the importance of passing the Governor’s FORWARD legislation. Tim Sheehan, Chief Development Officer for the city of Springfield, is scheduled to testify virtually before the Joint Committee on Bonding on Friday.