Bedford Benefits from Federal CARES Funding

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The Town of Bedford is benefiting from more than $2 million in federal emergency aid earmarked to offset costs incurred in responding to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The town was awarded $1,251,541 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed on March 27.

As a separate part of CARES, another $772,210 was received through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, as well as CARES grants directed for technology in schools,

The town and schools have spent $1,713,178, said Director of Finance Garofalo, and the remaining $860,041 has been encumbered for eligible upcoming expenditures. The deadline for all remaining spending is Dec. 30, defined as eligible by federal guidelines.

Garofalo detailed the spending that has been carried out:

  • School technology, remote learning, and reopening costs: $650,915;
  • Personal protective supplies and equipment, $402,647;
  • Cleaning and disinfecting buildings; ventilation systems, $192,959;
  • Salaries for school staffing, $116,397;
  • The municipal food bank, $102,244;
  • Equipment for first responders, $68,184;
  • Town meeting and legal costs, $63,566;
  • Information technology and remote access, town government, $55,126;
  • Health, nurses and inspections, $32,544;
  • Signage, $28,595.

“All cities and towns throughout the commonwealth are hopeful for a second wave of CARES Act funding,” said Garofalo. There is nothing specific on that horizon, however.

Another federal source is FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, “which has specific guidance that identifies eligible reimbursable expenses, primarily related to costs associated with our first responders,” Garofalo said. So far the town has spent almost $550,000 in this category.

After December 30, “the town will continue to apply for FEMA reimbursement at 75 percent, which is available per the governor’s state of emergency declaration, the finance director added.

“There are parameters to all Covid-19 related funds,” Garofalo said. “For instance, certain emergency relief funds can only be used for the food bank.”

Mike Rosenberg can be reached at mike@thebedfordcitizen.org, or 781-983-1763
Click this link to learn more about The Bedford Citizen’s first community reporter.


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