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The Andover Select Board will consider changing the framework it approved last year for spending $10.1 million in federal COVID relief when it meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Town Manager Andrew Flanagan said the proposed changes do not include shifting money to pay for a $1.3 million schematic design for a new Andover High School but declined to provide further details on the agenda item.

The select board finalized a framework for spending the $10.1 million Andover received under the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2022. The funding was intended to make up for lost tax revenue when the coronavirus pandemic closed restaurants and other businesses that generate tax revenue for the Town. Towns and cities have until the end of 2024 to spend the money, which can be used to cover pandemic response costs, premium pay tfor essential workers, government services and water, sewer and broadband upgrades.

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As of April 17, Andover had spent $2.3 million of the ARPA funding on 26 projects, according to the National League of Cities ARPA investment tracker. Under the current framework, Andover is using $8 million of the federal funding for capital and infrastructure improvements, including $2.8 million for water main work, $2.3 million for capping the Ledgefill landfill and $1.5 million for Town building improvements, including a renovation of Town Offices.

Another $1.8 million went to the pandemic response, and $520,000 went to community assistance and partnerships, including $300,000 to help small businesses. The remaining $635,672 were earmarked for community engagement programs.

Stock photo.

One thought on “Andover May Alter COVID Relief Spending Plan”
  1. “Declined to provide further details” is surely not the transparency we deserve from our Town government officials.

    It is very disappointing that no information about the proposed reallocation of ARPA funds (COVID relief) was included in the information with the agenda for tomorrow’s Select Board meeting, especially given the level of interest in and contention over the use of these funds in Town. Rather than have to wait and wonder what will be sprung on the Select Board for them to consider, the Town Manager should make public the proposal or discussion material.

    Doubly disappointing is that no further details would be shared when requested, as was apparently the case as Andover News covered the topic. On Saturday, seeing the agenda posted and noting that no information on the ARPA redirection item was available, I sent the following email to the Select Board:

    Select Board,

    On the published agenda for your Monday meeting is this:
    American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding Framework
    Board to receive an update on ARPA funds and consider voting a revised funding framework.

    Use of ARPA funding in Andover has been contentious in the past and so the recommendations or range of possibilities that might arise at this Select Board meeting are of significant interest.

    Can you please provide, well ahead of the meeting, any review materials on this topic that have been provided to the Select Board and/or presentation materials that may have been developed to support discussion of this topic at the meeting?

    Frustrating that I have received zero acknowledgment of or information in response to my message.

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