Wealthy Town Has A Better Idea For Their Millions In COVID Relief Funds
The town of New Canaan, Connecticut, wants to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in COVID-19 relief funding on plans that would include a new ice rink and a YMCA expansion.
Town officials are aiming to spend $100,000 of federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to build an open-air ice rink, according to the New Canaanite. Last week, the town’s Board of Selectmen gathered to review the proposal for the town’s budgeting of the $6 million in funds from the ARPA.
The ice rink would be constructed by a private company that would charge an admission fee, the goal is to have the rink operational by Thanksgiving.
New Canaan CFO Lunda Asmani explained the criteria for ARPA spending is strictly to be used for public health expenditures, addressing negative economic impacts from the pandemic and replacing lost revenues during the COVID-19 pandemic. The local New Canaanite showed that the majority of the intended spending by the town does not fall under those categories.
Special requests in the proposal include $750,000 to renovate the New Canaan Playhouse, $250,000 to expand daycare services at a local YMCA, and $40,000 for updated equipment at New Canaan’s public access network NCTV79.
With a population of just over 20 thousand, New Canaan is one of the wealthiest towns in the northeast and has an average household income of $190,227.