Here’s how Dartmouth hopes to spend its ARPA funds

Jun 1, 2022

New pickleball courts. Upgrades to school HVAC systems. The design of a potential community center. 

These are among just a few of the ways the Town of Dartmouth could use some of its funding from the American Rescue Plan Act in the coming year if approved by the Select Board later this month.

The funds come from the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill the federal government passed in March of last year to speed up the U.S. economic and health recovery from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the legislation, Dartmouth will be provided $3,578,409. Additional money, currently estimated at $5,763,180, would be appropriated from Bristol County to the town.

After a request for suggestions late last year, the town’s Capital Planning Committee has recommended 14 projects to spend some of the funds on, totaling $4,163,886 for Fiscal Year 2023.

Proposals include adding pickleball courts on Russells Mills Road ($330,000), reconstructing Dartmouth High’s tennis courts ($100,000), and design and initial engineering costs for a potential community center ($1,192,000).

Plans for a community center have been in the works since 2018, when the Parks and Recreation Board expressed interest in having an indoor facility to provide more room for activities.

Currently, town officials and consultants are working on designs for the proposed center on an existing open space near the baseball fields at Crapo Field.

The Department of Public Works could also see $225,000 appropriated from the county in order to implement emergency generators at its Mosher, Junior, and Sharon Street pump stations.

There are also plans to appropriate $290,000 for the purchase of land located at 245 Russells Mills Road

The purchase, which was unanimously agreed upon by the Select Board in April is subject to approval by Spring Town Meeting on June 7. Should Town Meeting reject the agreement, that money would instead be appropriated to a project in the next fiscal year.

The property purchase could also be funded through capital funding processes such as the town’s surplus revenue or a tax levy.

No Town Meeting vote is required to approve the APRA-funded projects.

The final authority to approve any APRA recommendations is the Select Board, which is expected to consider the recommendations at its June 20 meeting.

A full copy of the Capital Planning Committee’s recommendations are attached to this story.