ARPA could stand for Arlington Relief Payments Accepted.
Efforts by Deputy Town Manager Sandy Pooler, in concert with state and national organizations, have resulted in allowing Arlington to claim as much as $10 million in losses tied to federal rescue funds, called ARPA.
Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine explained at the Jan. 10 Select Board meeting that the ARPA rules have changed. Cities and towns with a population under 250,000 can now claim up to $10 million in losses without revenue justification. This gives Arlington more flexibility to apply these funds to the general fund, reducing the impending shortfall and providing a better result for the town.
Chapdelaine clarified Jan. 18 that "Sandy's efforts were a significant part of the advocacy work to get Treasury to amend their regulations," but the Massachusetts Municipal Association and the National League of Cities helped bring about this beneficial change. See Pooler's letter here >>
ARPA is a federal law that enables state and local governments to cover temporary operating shortfalls and enhance financial stability until economic conditions and operations normalize.
UPDATED Jan. 21: Arlington police have received a state grant to help pay for body cameras, and the chief is eager to move ahead, but she is in waiting mode. Once she can move ahead, the start-up funds will be negotiated with union members.
"Like many other departments in Massachusetts, I am waiting on policy from the committee, and I look forward to implementing the program in Arlington as soon as possible," Chief Juliann Flaherty wrote in an email Jan. 11, referring to the state committee charged with providing guidelines to local departments.
Flaherty wrote that her department applied for and was awarded $43,035 on Dec. 6, from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. The Mass. Police Reform Bill established a committee to study body-worn cameras and develop policy for the Massachusetts police departments and are behind schedule on issuing road maps for moving forward.
Weymouth man, 30, arraigned on multiple charges
UPDATED Jan. 22: A 30-year-old Weymouth man was arraigned on multiple charges after allegedly breaking into a home on Mystic Lake Drive and being chased by police onto frigid Mystic River ice on a 5-degree afternoon.
Joseph Kahler was arrested Saturday, Jan. 15, after a homeowner reported arriving home with children to find the kitchen window open and seeing an unknown male walking through the yard to a U-Haul truck parked on the street.
Marcela Dwork of the Middlesex District Attorney's Office reported Jan. 19 that Kahler was arraigned the day before on the charges of breaking-and-entering during the daytime to commit a felony, resisting arrest, failure to stop, possession of a Class A substance and possession of a Class C substance. He pleaded not guilty. Judge David Frank set bail at $1,000 cash with the conditions that he stay away from and have no contact with the victims or their residence. The next date in this case is Feb. 9.
Town planning is the host for a virtual public meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26, to kick off the feasibility study of connecting the Mystic River Path to the Minuteman Bikeway.
The project, funded through an $80,000 grant from the Mass Trails Program and $10,000 from the Lawrence and Lillian Solomon Foundation, will review the existing trails and feasibility of creating new trails to connect two key multimodal paths. The meeting will focus on an overview of the project and discussion on key locations and design issues in the project area.
UPDATED: Covid numbers are starting to head down while staffers have been stepping up, the School Committee learned Thursday, Jan. 13, in the shortest meeting of the past 18 months – just over one hour.
“2022 has made quite a dramatic entrance,” Superintendent Elizabeth Homan said, with a “significant uptick in cases” since December.
Infection incidence within Arlington Public Schools is very high compared to what it was a month ago but remains less than in the town as a whole, according to Homan. She said it has been “a challenging week and a half” coming back from winter break but that the “effort to get kids back in person” has been successful.
“There is no significant evidence of [Covid-19] spread in the schools,” she said.
According to Homan, positive cases in the schools, reported as of each Friday, stand as follows:
- 169 on Jan. 14,
- 306 on Jan. 7,
- 225 on Dec. 31,
The Arlington Redevelopment Board voted Monday, Jan. 3, to approve a sign request for the new Arlington EATS building at 117 Broadway and to delay a continued hearing on a proposal for a bank at the former Not Your Average Joe's restaurant, 645 Mass. Ave., to Jan. 24.
The board also discussed zoning issues raised by a resident
For a full meeting summary, read notes by board member Steve Revilak, who provides them as a public service.
State Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) joined Senate colleagues to pass unanimously legislation aimed at making state identification more accessible to people experiencing homelessness, as well as legislation to allow adoption by close relatives, which is currently prohibited under state law.
“These bills both work to address some of the biggest hurdles to normalcy that struggling families in the Commonwealth face,” stated Senator Friedman, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, in a Jan. 14 news release. “Lack of access to housing should not preclude residents from receiving valid identification and families trying to stay united should not face undue burdens from archaic laws. I was proud to support both bills, and hope that they will be signed into law during this session.”
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