June 25, 2022

Letter to the Editor: Old Lyme’s American Rescue Plan Committee Delivers Recommendations to OL BOS for Allocation of $2.1M ARPA Funds, ‘Dream Team’ Committee Acknowledged

To the Editor:

I am writing to report that Old Lyme’s American Rescue Plan Committee (ARPC) has met its goal and delivered a set of recommendations to the Board of Selectmen (BOS) on the distribution of $2,162000 in funds awarded to the Town by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. Note that we understand that these are only our recommendations and that the BOS will exercise their decisions independently, not only using our work, but the much broader information available to them as our elected Town officials. 

The ARPC’s recommendation includes economic recovery grants for financial losses sustained by small businesses and not-for-profits, support for Old Lyme infrastructure and emergency services, and funds for initiatives sponsored by organizations in the Town that may impact a broad segment of the community.

Note that the ARPC did not consider requests from individuals or households that suffered losses during the pandemic; but rather, recommended that funds be allotted to the Social Services Discretionary Fund to assist, through existing channels, those most in need within the Old Lyme community.

I want to acknowledge the ARPC ‘dream team”. They brought a wealth of experience from the private and public sectors and were willing to not only meet weekly at Town Hall, but also accept the extensive “homework” (and storage space) required to understand this complex and complicated legislation. 

I was continually amazed at the rapid turnaround on review of materials and proposals; and the group’s willingness to provide input and reach decisions that reflect community, rather than personal interests.

I feel confident that our recommendations demonstrate a thoughtful assessment of the Town’s needs, as reported in the extensive response to our survey, meet the requirements of the legislation, and that we communicated the program in a manner that reached residents, organizations, and businesses.

It was my honor to serve on this committee.

Sincerely,

Thomas D. Gotowka,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The writer is the Chairman of Old Lyme’s American Rescue Plan Committee.

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