The Bulletin Board

Nearly half of $12 million fund for municipal upgrades undisbursed, for now

By: - June 28, 2022 2:04 pm

In a June 20 memo to the Executive Council, the Governor’s Office For Emergency Relief and Recovery said $5.4 million remains available. (Getty Images)

The state spent just over half of the $12 million it offered towns and cities for health and safety investments so far, but expects to award more even though the June 3 application deadline has passed. 

Alex Fries, spokesman for the Governor’s Office For Emergency Relief and Recovery, which oversaw the program, said he expects most of the federal pandemic aid will be given to communities that met the deadline but whose applications have not yet been processed.

In a June 20 memo to the Executive Council, the office said $5.4 million remains available. 

About 150 of the state’s 234 towns and cities had received money from the program, according to the memo. Communities can receive up to $50,000 in reimbursements for safety and emergency equipment and have to pick up just 10 percent of the cost. Many received the full $50,000 or close to it. 

Among those absent from GOFERR’s list of recipients it provided the Executive Council were larger communities including Nashua, Laconia, and Londonderry, and smaller towns such as Hill, Moultonboro, and Stewartstown. Fries said he expects the list of recipients to grow as claims are processed. The office has estimated 84 percent of towns and cities submitted applications.

In interviews earlier this month, some towns found it easier than others to find qualifying expenses.

Nelson, a town of fewer than 730 people, received $46,000 and used some of it to buy new radios and gear for its police and fire crews and a “jaws of life” tool to extract people trapped in a vehicle following a crash. Orford, meanwhile, received about $6,500 for broadband expansion expenses. 

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Annmarie Timmins
Annmarie Timmins

Senior reporter Annmarie Timmins is a New Hampshire native who covered state government, courts, and social justice issues for the Concord Monitor for 25 years. During her time with the Monitor, she won a Nieman Fellowship to study journalism and mental health courts at Harvard for a year. She has taught journalism at the University of New Hampshire and writing at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications.