Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, at the request of the Baker-Politio administration, presented written testimony before the Joint Committee on Bonds, Capital Expenditures, and State Assets in support of the legislation of the Governor Charles Baker, H.4864 (formerly H.4720): An Act Investing in Future Opportunities for Resilience, Workforce, and Revitalized Downtowns. The Committee is scheduled to hold a virtual public hearing on the Governor’s pending legislation on Friday, June 24, 2022.
The Mayor of Sarno says: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had negative effects on many communities across our Commonwealth and nation. To help offset these challenges and provide much-needed relief to our residents and business community, my administration has begun using our local US Federal Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding allocation. 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, funding additional to be granted in the near future, but we cannot do it. only. It is imperative that the Commonwealth seizes this opportunity to commit and use the states’ allocation of federal money and capital spending authorities 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 Bail, would help address many of our local and regional projects and create a good four-letter word – JOBS.
“Time is running out,” added Mayor Sarno. “According to 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 should be aware that with materials and supply chain challenges, rising costs of doing business and project planning requirements – time is running out. The last thing you want to say to your constituents in your ridings is that the federal government clawed back the money.
Mayor Sarno previously visited the State House in Boston in May, at the request of the Baker-Politio administration, to testify in person before the Joint Committee on Economic Development on the importance of passing FORWARD legislation. of the governor. Tim Sheehan, director of development for the city of Springfield, is scheduled to testify virtually before the joint liaison committee on Friday.