Focus on the purpose
The Town Council's plan does not prioritize those most in need in its planned allocation of ARPA funds (R-J 5/12/22). The title of the act is the American Rescue Plan, to help individuals and businesses hurt by the pandemic.
The mayor is correct in keeping our focus trained on the purpose of the act.
The Wallingford Resource Alliance is comprised of nonprofit and educational agencies which are close to the people who need help the most. Let's listen to their priorities, to help individuals and small businesses suffering the most pain from the pandemic.
The absence of a pool in town is not an emergency and capital projects in general should have a lower priority, if they are to be included at all, than helping small businesses recover and helping people who are working two or more minimum wage jobs to stay afloat.
Some ideas coming out of the community that seem more likely to help the struggling get a step up include expanding after-school programs; launching a digital equity initiative; increasing mental health services; assistance with childcare for the working poor; COVID relief assistance to individuals; workforce development programs to help low-income people gain skills for better jobs; and transportation assistance.
Divide the $13.1 million in ARPA funds between nonprofit programs and small businesses.
Robert A. Bourgeois, Wallingford