Burrillville non-profits awarded $112,000 in ARPA funding

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BURRILLVILLE – Town-based non-profit organizations will receive a total of $112,000 of the roughly $5 million in federal funding allocated to Burrillville through the American Rescue Plan Act, following unanimous approval by members of the Burrillville Town Council.

The vote this month to provide funding to groups that applied and qualified for the local windfall comes following months of outreach and research by a subcommittee appointed by the board. The 14 organizations approved fall into one of four categories of eligible recipients, with separate efforts still underway to allocate federal money to infrastructure projects, broadband services and businesses.

The money aims to help mitigate the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think what you see here is the result of months of pretty steady work and an opportunity to provide money to non-profit groups who qualified,” said Councilor Raymond Trinque, who served on the subcommittee that worked with the non-profits. “That can change the way they operate. Twelve thousand dollars for the food pantry is going to do a lot of good in the town of Burrillville.”

Food pantries based in three town churches were approved for $12,000 each: Berean Baptist, St. Vincent and St. Patrick’s.

Two sports league’s will receive $8,000 each following the decision: Burrillville Little League and Burrillville Girls Softball.

Community aid groups, including the Burrillville Lions Club, American Legion Post 88, Pete’s Sake, Patrons of the Assembly Theatre and Friends of the Jesse Smith Library will each receive $10,000.

Additional groups to receive funding of $2,500 a piece include the Burrillville Farmer’s Market Association, the Burrillville Historical & Preservation Society, First Universalist Church and the Downtown Pascoag Neighborhood Association.

“Non-profits have faced significant challenges due to the pandemic’s increased demand for services and changing operational needs as well as decline in revenue sources such as donations and fees,” explained a note from the subcommittee to Town Manager Michael Wood.

Councilors Amanda Gingell and Stephen Rawson also served with the group making the funding recommendation, along with Recreation Director Andrea Hall; Finance Director Leslie McGovern and Jesse Smith Library Director Beth Ullucci.

“Both Andrea and Beth provided a tremendous amount of work and the committee members were out scouring to get people to apply for money. As the business committee has found out, it’s not easy,” Trinque said, adding of the $112,000 total, “I think is a fair amount when you look at the total. I think groups are going to get money that’s really going to push forward thier effort to help people in Burrillville.”

Councilor Donald Fox agreed.

“There’s no doubt that this money is going to go a long way with some of these organizations,” Fox said.

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