Amherst Finance Committee begins process to allocate $12M in American Rescue Plan Act funds

AMHERST – The finance committee has begun work on how best to allocate the $12 million the municipality is slated to receive from the federal government via American Rescue Plan Act signed into law in March by President Joe Biden.

In a report to the Amherst Town Council published on the municipal website Friday, the finance committee, a subcommittee of the council, recommended spending some of it during the current fiscal year, and for creation of a separate advisory group, that would make recommendations to Town Manager Paul Bockelman.

“The expectation is the group would begin their work in January 2022” and the advisory panel “would solicit proposals and make recommendations to the Town Manager by the end of March 2022.”

The advisory group would be appointed by the manager subject to the council’s approval.

During the Finance Committee’s July 6 meeting, they voted unanimously to recommend to the manager spending $1,397,500 at this time.

This money would go towards 8 items, for this fiscal year, including $900,000 to supplement the municipal sewer and the parking funds, $250,000 towards the town’s Community Responder Program initiative, and $100,000 to fund a capital project manager position.

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