Bourne taps into early ARPA funds for ambulances, not sanitation pacts
BUZZARDS BAY – The Board of Selectmen – in their role as members of the Select Board and Board of Sewer Commissioners – is redirecting US Federal Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money from sewerage contract funding to future purchases of two ambulances.
On April 26, the panel voted to fund ambulances on the recommendation of city administrator Marlene McCollem, who said emergency vehicles were needed due to heavy use of current vehicles during COVID. .
McCollem said ARPA funds cannot be used for ongoing sewer projects. She said funding for sewer projects would come from other sources.
The COVID relief money, nearly $2 million in two installments, is a direct payment to the city and should not be confused with ARPA money paid to the county government.
Purchasing the ambulances will cost no more than $800,000, the commissioners said. Sewer contracts requiring new funding include the review of rules and regulations ($35,000), capital improvements ($475,000) and the feasibility study on a possible municipal takeover of the plant. waste from the Kingman Yachting Center in Cataumet ($66,400).
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ARPA’s next allocation of money will go to upgrading the sewer system in Buzzards Bay, which McCollem says is “diseased.” This includes upgrading manhole sites, replacing sewage collection pumps at Taylors Point and the east end of Main Street, and upgrading low pressure grinder pumps on private properties. This will continue until the ARPA money runs out, she said.
“We need a capital plan for the sewers (problems),” said sewer commissioners chairwoman Mary Jane Mastrangelo. “Not having a plan is not a plan; just put your head in the sand.
“It’s a big priority,” McColem said.
“It’s critical,” said Public Works Director Shawn Patterson.