ARPA Updates


Rep. Scanlon's amendments to the original bill

North Attleboro earmark requests:

Amendment #162 to H4219

Dredging of the Ten Mile River to Halt Flooding

$13,000,000 for the complete dredging of the Ten Mile River from Whiting’s Pond to Falls Pond

Not Adopted

The river would be dredged from Whiting’s Pond to Falls Pond. Silt and other forms of dangerous contamination such as but not limited to E. coli, fecal coliform, turbidity, and phosphorus from abandoned mills have built up in the riverbed over the years. Neighbors and businesses that live or operate near the river often experience flooding detrimental to public health. The flooding is stalled economic growth and prevented economic recovery for businesses in several locations. The $13M estimate is an aggregation of grants which have been identified as pertinent to the dredging and represents the total one-time expenditure needed to complete the project. The dredging will also create additional construction jobs. If dredging is complete, this project will open up new doors of economic opportunities for small businesses as well as preserve the public health of our community.

Amendment #169 to H4219

North Attleborough High School Robotics Program

$500,000 to North Attleborough School Department to facilitate the startup of a robotics program

$100,000 Included in Consolidated “B”

North Attleborough’s high school is developing a robotics program to offer additional next-generation, hands-on educational opportunities to students through collaborative projects. The funding would be a one-time expenditure used to purchase equipment to facilitate the startup of this program. Through the program, students will develop interpersonal skills from working with fellow students, small businesses, alumni, teachers, mentors, and sponsors as they develop higher-level skill sets that extend beyond their high school pursuits. This program can promote job growth in these emerging technologies.

Amendment #179 to H4219

Allen Ave. School Food Pantry Hub and Community Center

$4,700,000 to the Town of North Attleborough to support construction costs related to the refurbishment of the Allen Avenue School to serve as a local hub for regional food pantries and as a community center

Not Adopted

The Allen Avenue School was turned over to the Town, by the School Department, several years ago and has since remained in disrepair. There has not been any maintenance performed on the building since students left several years ago and the Town has been unable to secure funding. The Town is requesting $4.7M to pay for constructions costs related to the refurbishment of the site, based on an architect’s estimate. The projects will create a large number of construction jobs. The refurbished site could be used as a new senior center and a local hub for the three food pantries in our community, which can only expand if the building is renovated.

Statewide earmark request:

Amendment #190 to H4219

COVID-19 Financial Relief for Veterans

$10,000,000 to provide COVID-19 financial relief grants to veterans and surviving spouses.

Not Adopted

At the outset of the Pandemic, the CDC and VA warned that Pandemic would likely contribute to the onset or worsening of mental health problems for veterans, as well as adding difficulty to the challenging transition from military to civilian life. These concerns were certainly realized; the Pandemic resulted in substantial financial losses and incalculable mental health and physical health difficulties for our veteran population. These consequences, coupled with the recent withdrawal from the War in Afghanistan, have led to the most difficult peace times our veterans have endured. 

A December 2020 Massachusetts Veteran Needs Assessment, performed by the Center for New American Security (CNAS), found that “COVID-19 has impacted the veteran community in unprecedented ways, shining a spotlight on food insecurity, mental health, and childcare at a very challenging time.” This represents a significant number of Massachusetts residents; although the veteran population in MA is shrinking, the VA estimates that there were still 286,975 veterans living in Massachusetts at the heart of the Pandemic one year ago. CNAS found that, “Innovations in outreach and awareness are needed” to continue providing the necessary benefits and resources to the rapidly shrinking Massachusetts veteran population. 

This amendment creates a $10 million line item to support our veterans and surviving spouses. The line item funds the COVID-19 Relief for Veterans Fund, which will provide relief grants to veterans and surviving spouses who experienced a financial loss during the Pandemic. 

Under this new fund, the Department of Veterans’ Services would use the fund to provide relief grants to applicants deemed eligible by the Secretary. Recipients will be able to use the grants to purchase any COVID-19 related assistance determined eligible by the Secretary. Some examples include the purchasing of groceries and health care supplies or the delivery of these goods, emergency financial relief, hospitalization assistance, and medical care or treatments.