Northeast Metro Tech Seeks Legislative Support to Prioritize ARPA Funding
As the state legislature plans to allocate the remaining $5 billion of federal funds given to the Commonwealth under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Northeast Metro Tech is renewing its request for an allocation of $100 million. dollars to ease the financial burden on member communities related to its recently approved construction project.
Northeast Superintendent David DiBarri and School Board Chair Deb Davis reached out to state lawmakers to enlist their support for using federal funding to limit the fiscal impact of the Northeast construction project on its sending communities. Their letter also advocated for ARPA funding for similar projects undertaken by Bristol-Plymouth Technical School in Taunton and Greater Fall River Technical School District in Fall River.
“In the first round of ARPA allocations, state officials provided no funds to contain project costs,” DiBarri said. “We strongly believe that mitigating the financial impact of these facilities on our communities and our taxpayers – especially those who bear the majority of the costs – should be a top priority for lawmakers in this round of funding, especially after this key need was not addressed in ARPA’s first funding cycle.
In ARPA’s first round of funding, the state legislature funded more than 2,700 allocations, including the following for affluent suburbs: $75,000 to maintain and expand chamber of commerce membership, $150,000 for church heating and ventilation repairs and over $250,000 to design a skating rink. rink.
“This federal spending is meant to be a priority for our most financially disadvantaged communities and residents,” said school board chair Deb Davis. “We have partnered with two of our sister Regional Vocational and Technical School Districts located in Fall River and Taunton to seek an equitable share of resources to minimize the significant property tax impacts expected in Gateway Cities, which their mayors and city managers also support.”
In the case of the North East, ARPA funding would ease the burden on Chelsea, Malden and Revere, which combine to send about half of all North East students. As a result, these three communities would bear nearly half of the $176 million local share of the project cost, with the remainder of the local cost being shared by the other nine original communities. A $141 million grant from the Massachusetts School Building Authority will reduce the $317 million total project cost to $176 million for member communities.
The new Northeast Metropolitan School building will pave the way for the next 50+ years of high quality vocational and technical education for students in the 12 cities and towns served by the Northeast.
“We are committed to advocating for our partner communities to be supported through this one-time federal program, which would allow them to better meet their fiscal responsibilities to this project without sacrificing any other crucial services they provide. Superintendent DiBarri said. “This funding is essential for our gateway cities, for our students and for the future economic well-being of not just our communities, but the Commonwealth as a whole.”
The economic impact of well-trained technicians, artisans, and licensed tradesmen and women pays dividends in ensuring the economic well-being of students, residents, and communities. As a one-time federal revenue source, it uses these dollars wisely for a one-time investment that will allow our financially challenged communities to dismantle essential local services from local budgets on projects under construction, thereby reducing debt service. future. costs for communities.
Northeast is advocating for Bristol-Plymouth Technical School in Taunton and Greater Fall River Technical School District in Fall River to collectively receive $300 million in ARPA funding for their respective projects.
“This project and others like it will have a transformative impact on the lives of students in our communities and others across the Commonwealth for decades to come,” Davis said. “ARPA presents a rare opportunity to achieve this positive impact while limiting the burden on our communities and I hope our legislative partners will take advantage of this opportunity.”
To learn more about the construction project, visit NortheastBuildingProject.com