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Houlton council authorizes contract with county to provide assistance for ARP funds

HOULTON, Maine — The town of Houlton is expected to receive $670,000 as part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act signed into law by President Joe Biden in March 2021. 

Now the town has authorized a contract with Aroostook County to provide assistance such as fund reporting and consultation services to allocate and account for those funds. Payment for the county’s assistance amounts to 2 percent of the total ARP funds, or around $13,400 dollars.

The town authorized the contract during its council meeting held on Monday, Aug. 23. 

“This will enable the town to participate in borrowing or receiving a grant from the funds that are in addition to what we may receive from the $670,000,” said Anderson. “So this is a cost saving measure for the town.” 

Aroostook County as a total is slated to receive $13 million from the rescue plan. Houlton will receive its allotted funds over a three- to five-year period, although payment for the county’s assistance will be due when it first receives the funds.

 Monday’s council meeting also served as the final one for council member Bill McCluskey, who will be moving outside of the town and thus no longer eligible to serve on the council. McCluskey took time during the councilors’ remarks section of the meeting to express his gratitude for being able to serve alongside his fellow council members. 

“I just want to say it was an honor to be able to work with the professional administrators in this town, the department heads, the citizens and of course this council,” McCluskey said. “We managed to agree and disagree mostly civilly, and move the town’s business forward, and I’m going to miss it greatly.”

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