Southwest Harbor plans to use its ARPA funds to help pay for a storm sewer and sidewalk project on Main Street near the head of the harbor. ISLANDER PHOTO BY DICK BROOM

Towns to get more COVID relief money than expected



MOUNT DESERT ISLAND — All four Mount Desert Island towns, along with the Cranberry Isles, Swan’s Island and Trenton, will receive more money from the nearly $1.9 trillion COVID relief package that Congress passed in March than was originally estimated.

Of the towns on and around MDI, only Frenchboro will receive less than expected.

According to updated figures reported by the Maine Municipal Association, Bar Harbor will receive $587,083 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, an increase of $37,083 over the original estimate.

Mount Desert’s $223,153 allocation of federal funds is $13,153 more than was originally reported in March.

Southwest Harbor’s $189,252 is an increase of $9,252. Tremont will see an increase of $8,869 to $168,869. Trenton is to receive $164,540, an increase of $4,540.

Swan’s Island’s allocation will go up $4,217 to $34,217, while the Cranberry Isles will see an increase of $4,574 to $14,574.

Frenchboro will receive $6,231, which is $3,769 less than the $10,000 that had been expected.

The ARPA states that, of the nearly $1.9 trillion COVID relief package, “$19.53 billion will be allocated to municipalities with populations of generally fewer than 50,000…with allocations capped at 75 percent of the locality’s most recent budget as of January 27, 2020.”

The ARPA allows municipalities to use its COVID relief funds to respond to the negative economic impact of the pandemic including “assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality.”

Relief funds also may be used to make up for the loss of tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to make “necessary investments in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure.”

The town of Southwest Harbor, for example, plans to use its ARPA funds to help pay for a storm sewer and sidewalk project on Main Street near the head of the harbor.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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