Questions abound

Municipal governments have begun making decisions about how to use the funds they’ve received through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Congress passed the $1.9 trillion bill, and President Joe Biden signed it into law in March. It was another legislative proposal to help Americans adversely affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The law allocated $350 billion to state, county, local and tribal governments. These funds were designed to supplement budget revenue lost due to restrictions imposed to protect people from the coronavirus.

Of course, numerous questions have been raised about how public bodies may divvy up the funds they get from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Many officials have not obtained satisfactory answers to their inquiries from the federal government — this should surprise no one!

Fortunately, the Tug Hill Commission will offer guidance next week through a webinar. Titled “The American Rescue Plan Act: What Your Board Needs to Know,” the free program will be held at noon Tuesday.

“Towns and villages across the Tug Hill region are receiving funds through the American Rescue Plan Act. Many have questions about how these funds can be used and what record-keeping and reporting is required. This webinar, featuring a representative of the Association of Towns of the State of New York, will address these concerns,” according to a news item published Tuesday by the Watertown Daily Times. “The presenter for this webinar will be Sarah Brancatella, AOT’s legislative director and counsel. … In addition to being the association’s legislative director and counsel, Ms. Brancatella coordinates AOT’s legislative advocacy, regularly presents on new legislation and other areas of interest to towns, manages AOT’s amicus brief program, and works on member inquiries. She is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo and the University at Buffalo School of Law.”

Participants are encouraged to familiarize themselves beforehand with recommended background material available on www.nytowns.org under Announcements/Info. They should prepare questions to ask during the webinar or email them prior to the event to tughill@tughill.org. Register in advance at tinyurl.com/TugHillARPA.

The Tug Hill Commission is known for pulling together respected authorities to address various problems. This webinar will help public officials make prudent decisions about this federal initiative.

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