Sandown Selectmen Discuss How to Use Rescue Funds

By Alex Malm

SANDOWN – The Sandown Board of Selectmen held its regularly scheduled meeting on July 12.
During the meeting one of the main agenda items that was discussed was in regards to the American Rescue Plan Act, and whether or not the town was interested in pursuing funds through the Local Fiscal Recovery Fund program which is part of it.
It was explained by Sandown Finance Director Gayle Hamel that while the final regulations have not been decided by the federal government yet as to how cities and towns can spend the money, if they receive it and determine the money can’t be spent they can always return it.
Board of Selectmen Robert Nickerson said that he thinks that once they receive the funds they should poll each department to find out what proposed projects they have that could possibly be funded through the funding and how that project relates to COVID-19.
Once they have the final guidelines on how they can use the funding they can prioritize them and decide which projects they will fund.
“I think we need to at least apply and then decide what the priorities are,” Nickerson said.
The Selectmen ultimately voted in favor of having Hamel apply for the funds through the program.
Another agenda item that was discussed during the meeting was in regards to the distribution of School Impact Fees for 2021.
It was explained by Sandown Town Administer Lynne Blaisdell that anytime a home is built the developer pays an impact fee and that money goes into an account that can only be given to the school district for capital improvement projects and has to be spent within six years.
Blaisedell said that they collected about $56,000 this year and now have a total of about $89,000 in the account as of now.
What the Selectmen have to decide each year is how much they want to give to the school district, last year they gave them $100,000.
One thing that was pointed out by Hudgins is that there is a lot of construction going on right now which means they will be able to collect a fair share of impact fees this year.
“We’re going to collect a lot this year,” he said.
It was agreed on by the Selectmen to release $75,000 to the school district this year.
“I think that’s a safe number,” said Tombarello. In other news they also accepted a $75 donation for the Senior Affairs Transportation Committee.
It was also brought up that they wanted to have a sign put up in front of the food shelf to help promote their senior transportation program.
Since the food shelf is owned by the town it was required that the Selectmen gave permission for the sign to be put up which they did.
The next Sandown Selectmen meeting is slated for July 26 at 6:30 p.m.