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Board of Regional Commissioners Have Allocated Over $40 million in County ARPA Funds 

Budget Review for Fiscal Year 24 Continues 

JANUARY 19, 2023 (BARNSTABLE, MA) – At yesterday’s meeting, the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners received a comprehensive status update on the American Rescue Plan Act (APRA) funding and resumed hearing proposed operational budgets from several departments, including Administration, Finance, the Assembly of Delegates and the Registry of Deeds. 

In the ARPA status update, Vaira Harik, the Assistant County Administrator, noted that of the $41, 370,810 received by Barnstable County in ARPA funding, $40,708,754, has already been allocated by both APRA Advisory Committee and the Board of Commissioners. 

On November 2, 2022, the Barnstable County Regional Board of Commissioners recommended funding $12.8 million for regional projects that will expand and sustain the County’s investment in water quality, affordable housing, post-COVID public health, and emergency management needs, and upgrades to County services by digitizing records and investing in equipment for the County Dredge. Funding for County projects is awaiting approval by the Assembly of Delegates.   

On December 21, 2022, the Barnstable County Regional Board of Commissioners allocated $11.4 million in ARPA funds to address housing and homelessness based on the recommendations of the Barnstable County ARPA Advisory Committee. 

The recommendations to address housing and homelessness include $3 million for sheltering and medical respite for homeless individuals, $6.9 million for gap funding for affordable housing projects that are currently underway, and $1.5 million for workforce housing focusing on the “missing middle” and supporting the seasonal workforce through innovative public/private partnerships such as promoting zoning changes, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), and formalizing a host network.  

Barnstable County is also pleased to report that of the $10 million appropriated to the towns by the Commissioners and Assembly of Delegates, the County has awarded nine grants to eight towns totaling $7,345,605.92. 

In addition, 40 projects totaling $14 million are in the application phase for the $5 million competitive grant program for our communities approved by both the Commissioners and the Assembly of Delegates for local government units, nonprofits, and private or for-profit organizations to support the region’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The application period concluded on December 23, 2022. The 40 completed applications are now moving through the county’s established review process.  Awards will be announced in April 2023.  

“It is incredible to be able to say that the ARPA Advisory Committee and the Board of Commissioners have already allocated over $40 million of the overall allocation of $41 million,” said Mark Forest, Chair of the Barnstable County Board of Commissioners, “We are grateful for the partnership of Speaker Princi and the Assembly of Delegates, and we encourage them to approve funding for the housing and county projects. We look forward to continuing to work with them to meet the critical needs of our region as soon as possible.”  

In other news, the Board began meeting with county departments to review the FY 24 budget.  Jack Meade, Barnstable County Register of Deeds, confirmed a leveling of deeds revenue due to economic factors and a decline in the sales of single-family homes.   Considering anticipated reduced revenues, County Administration presented an operating budget with a 4.5 % increase from the current year.  Most of the increase is requested to support the Dredge Program, while other departments increased their budgets by less than 1%.  “This is a bare bones budget,” observed Commissioner Mark Forest.  Prior to submitting the budget to the Commissioners, Departments had been asked to trim $1.2 million dollars.  

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO WATCH OR JOIN A FUTURE COMMISSIONERS’ MEETING Members of the public are encouraged to visit the Barnstable County Meeting Center at to access the Commissioners’ calendar, meeting agendas, information on how to participate, or links to the live-streamed meetings on YOUTUBE.  Barnstable County provides reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities upon request. Contact Justyna Marczak, Barnstable County ADA/Non-Discrimination Coordinator, or call 508-375-6646.  

ABOUT BARNSTABLE COUNTY REGIONAL GOVERNMENT OF CAPE COD Barnstable County provides exemplary government functions and services to keep our community healthy and safe, promote sustainable growth, and offer a proactive, open government that enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Barnstable County. Learn more at