County Officials Seek Public Comment on COVID Money Distribution

HYANNIS – Barnstable County commissioners plan to open a public comment period to foster discussion of the distribution of American Rescue Plan Act funding recently drew praise from the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates.

Through ARPA funding, the county is set to receive $41 million to help speed local recovery efforts stemming from impacts related to the pandemic.

“The Assembly of Delegates and county commissioners are partners in providing leadership to improve the quality of life in Barnstable County,” said Assembly Deputy Speaker Mary Chaffee of Brewster.

“Our joint efforts on ARPA spending ensure that all checks and balances are in place, and that our actions are fully aligned with the County Charter,” she said.

The two chambers recently settled a dispute concerning the Assembly’s role in fund distribution, determining that the executive branch will establish a process by which it considers funding requests, with those approved being sent to the Assembly through the county’s ordinance process.

“It’s critical that the county ARPA spending process moves ahead expeditiously so problems caused by the pandemic can be remedied,” said Assembly Speaker Patrick Princi of Barnstable.

“The Assembly looks forward to receiving ARPA spending ordinances from the County Commissioners as soon as they begin their evaluation and recommendation process,” he said.

The county will have until December 31, 2024 to determine how it will use the funds, with a December 31, 2026 deadline to spend all allocated funds.

By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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