In Brief: Northampton seeks ARPA grant applications; Mass. ID and license workshop; at-home COVID tests for municipalities

  • Rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits. Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images/TNS

Published: 9/13/2022 11:56:22 AM
Modified: 9/13/2022 11:52:27 AM
Northampton seeks grant proposals for $4M in ARPA funds

NORTHAMPTON — Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra and the Northampton American Rescue Plan Act Commission are requesting proposals for ARPA Community Recovery Projects funding. Applications for funding are due by 5 p.m. on Oct. 14. Applications can be found on the city’s ARPA page at: www.northamptonma.gov/ARPA

This funding opportunity is open to individuals, groups, nonprofits, small businesses, and organizations which are based in Northampton and/or whose proposed project will serve the Northampton community. These are one-time funds which must be used to respond to a negative health or economic impact of COVID-19.

There are two separate applications for funding: a small projects application for projects up to $10,000 and a large projects application for projects requesting more than $10,000.

The city will host three information sessions to provide an opportunity for applicants to ask questions. The dates and times for the information sessions will be posted on the city’s ARPA page at www.northamptonma.gov/ARPA. Awards will be announced in December. Funds will be distributed in early 2023.

Mass. ID and license workshop set for residents born in Puerto Rico

SPRINGFIELD — Puerto Rican residents of Massachusetts have been facing difficulties acquiring their state license or ID due to complications obtaining their birth certificate from Puerto Rico, a longstanding issue exacerbated by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

State Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, chairman of Public Safety and Homeland Security, will cohost a workshop with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to provide impacted residents with information on how to navigate this documentation sharing issue. The event will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council, 1441 Main St. in Springfield. Registration is required, and residents who would like to attend this event can register at https://bit.ly/3B91boj

State to distribute 3.5M free at-home COVID tests to communities

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration recently announced plans to distribute 3.5 million free at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to municipalities to make available to residents across the commonwealth. The new municipal distribution plan builds on the successful distribution of over 2 million rapid tests to municipalities earlier this spring. In addition to the rapid antigen tests, municipalities can also request essential PPE, including KN95, surgical and children’s masks.

Allocations to municipalities will be based on population size. Municipalities can request tests and PPE through Sept. 16, and shipments are expected to arrive before mid-October. These distributions of free tests build upon statewide contracts in place since December 2021 that allow municipalities and eligible entities to order test kits directly from manufacturers at state-negotiated prices.

An additional 1.5 million rapid antigen tests will also be made available to food banks in the commonwealth, to reach those who are most vulnerable. More than 1.5 million tests have already been distributed to food banks and local organizations that support access to food across Massachusetts this year.


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