Around $1.4M left in ARPA funds for Warren

By Ethan Hartley
Posted 5/22/24

Following expenditures over the past couple of years, and three allocations during their most recent meeting, a little less than half of the $3.1 million the Town was allotted during Covid remains, and must be spend prior to December 2025.

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Around $1.4M left in ARPA funds for Warren


The Town of Warren has around 45% of the total money it received from the American Rescue Plan Act left to be spoken for, according to Town Manager Brian Sullivan at the Town Council meeting on May 14.

According to an updated analysis of ARPA spending to date, the Town had obligated $1,477,146 in ARPA funds of the $3,141,809.60 it received from the federal government in the wake of Covid.

However, during the meeting, the Town Council unanimously agreed to use ARPA money to cover three expenditures deemed necessary, which pushed the total remaining balance of ARPA funds after the meeting to $1,395,255

The newly approved expenditures include the purchasing of two municipal vehicles (a police SUV with accompanying service for its technological components amounting to $67,795, and a debris transfer trailer for the DPW amounting to $89,178). Sullivan explained that the Town had entered into contracts to purchase both of these vehicles prior to the Town Council agreeing to freeze all ARPA spending in the immediate wake of the lawsuit settlement late last year, so they were required to follow through with the purchases.

The third and final approved expenditure to utilize ARPA funds at the meeting last week was for $112,434 to deconstruct and repair to historical accuracy the decrepit chimney on Town Hall. The contract was awarded to the lone bidder, Maduro Masonry of Bristol, RI.

Davison Bolster, speaking on behalf of the Historic District Commission, said that volunteer efforts to raise money to offset the cost of the reconstruction of the chimney had so far raised $24,000, and that their ultimate goal was $40,000. “That campaign is ongoing,” Bolster said.

What has been spent?
The analysis included a breakout of ARPA spending from April 2023 to March of 2024, and includes a list of 12 specific projects from that time frame. They include:

  • $463,312.50 to repair a collapsed sewer line under Franklin Street
  • $225,000 to supplement last year’s budget, specifically to pay for salary supplements for fire and police personnel
  • $138,500 to replace sewer manholes the sewer line between them on Fern Drive
  • $64,775 to make repairs to the track at Veterans Field
  • $50,000 to supplement Hope & Main’s ‘Nourish Our Neighbors’ program
  • $39,868 to pay for an IT consultant to help upgrade police department computers
  • $26,000 to make critical repairs to Town wastewater treatment facility
  • $24,550 for architectural design work for a new Fire/EMS headquarters
  • $12,300 to repair the doors of the historic fire station on Baker Street
  • $9,200 to make measurements for critical fix at wastewater treatment facility
  • $5,083 as part of the $250,000 originally allocated for storefront facade improvements
  • $3,281 to migrate police department email system to Microsoft 365 government edition

The balance of the money spent prior to April of 2023 ($415,275) was not broken out into a full list as of this most current report, but the Times-Gazette is in the process of receiving a fully itemized list of all ARPA spending to date.

What will the remaining money be used for?
Besides the three new obligations mentioned above, the Council did not make any other commitments of ARPA funds. However, Council President John Hanley indicated that as much as $400,000 could eventually be required to complete the repairs at the wastewater treatment facility.

Town Manager Sullivan said that uses like road repairs and some other capital needs at the wastewater treatment plant (ventilation fans and a new roof) could also be considered as valid uses of the money.

Regardless of which way the remaining funds are allocated, they must be obligated by the end of this year, and obligated funds must be spent prior to the end of 2025, Sullivan said.

2024 by East Bay Media Group

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