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    Friday, April 19, 2024

    Town of Groton allocates $2.4 million in ARPA funding

    Groton ― The Town Council has allocated $2.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds for various projects in the community, from emergency communications center improvements to upgrades to the Groton Hockey Rink.

    The list of projects include $175,000 to upgrade the police station’s emergency dispatch center; $131,575 for Groton Community Meals including a mobile food truck; $189,000 to the Groton Ambulance Association for equipment upgrades and staffing costs exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic; $100,000 in economic assistance funds intended to support small businesses; $175,000 towards a housing rehabilitation fund; and $24,000 towards a Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce tourism truck, according to town documents.

    It further includes $11,000 for two electric bikes, an ATV and stretcher and a defibrillator unit for the Poquonnock Bridge fire department and $20,100 for a respirator fit testing machine. Premium pandemic pay is also going to various groups such as $25,500 for Groton employees affiliated with the United Steelworkers union, $100,500 for police, $34,500 for Poquonnock Bridge Fire Department and $16,500 for Groton telecommunication employees.

    The council approved $150,000 for Groton Human Services; $10,000 for an enterprise resource planning software platform for The Arc of Eastern Connecticut; $68,000 towards a program to address the effects of isolation from the pandemic on people with dementia; $100,000 to the New London Homeless Hospitality Center for a regional initiative for a housing counseling agency to prevent eviction and foreclosure; $24,000 for violence prevention education; and $62,500 for a Wheels2Work program.

    The projects include $35,000 for Groton SEC TV studio upgrade; $66,850 to Beer’d Brewing Co. for a wastewater mitigation project; $25,080 to Mystic Cheese Company for a pollutant mitigation project; $71,095 towards a proposal to create an accessible park on the Mystic & Noank Library grounds; $23,000 to upgrade digital infrastructure at the Bill Memorial Library; and $52,000 towards maintenance equipment for impervious pavers.

    The council also approved $25,000 towards a bicycle track project; $225,000 for upgrades to the Groton Hockey Rink; $129,000 for outdoor pickleball courts and $25,000 for baseball field upgrades at the Groton Community Center; $4,500 for Tri Town Trail greenway signage; $15,000 for trail signage and wayfinding; $60,000 for a street tree inventory and planting plan; $10,650 to Groton Little League to improve batting cages; $10,000 towards community murals; and $10,000 for Town Hall landscaping.

    The funding list calls for $20,353 for swim lessons and summer camp scholarships at Ocean Community YMCA; $38,800 for summer camp scholarships for Groton youths to attend Project Oceanology; and $22,000 towards a proposal to expand S.T.E.P.S. programs for girls.

    The council unanimously voted in favor of allocating the funds at its Feb. 7 meeting, and the matter is next slated to go to the Representative Town Meeting on March 8. The council has been reviewing proposals for funding submitted by applicants.

    The town was awarded a total of $8,587,894.04 under the American Rescue Plan Act, and previously allocated funding “to address immediate community needs as well as governmental service initiatives” through the Fiscal Year 2023 budget process, according to a town document.

    Town Manager John Burt said the town had set aside $1.4 million for a Shore Avenue seawall project in the City of Groton in case the city needs the funds, but has not formally allocated the funds. The town also is setting aside $795,000 for the Groton Housing Authority in case the housing authority needs funds towards sewer work at Grasso Gardens. If money for the two projects actually were allocated that would leave $29,151 for contingency.

    k.drelich@theday.com

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