Plymouth County Treasurer Tom O’Brien, accompanied by Commissioners Sandra M. Wright and Jared L. Valanzola, paid a visit to the Select Board during Wednesday’s meeting to present four checks totaling $128,137 as the latest round of CARES Act reimbursement for COVID19-related expenses incurred during the pandemic.
O’Brien praised the town’s proactive efforts to secure this funding, on top of $1.58 million already reimbursed to Hull from the CARES Act, which stands for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security. More requests for Hull also are making their way through the system.
“This has been a great partnership with the Town of Hull,” O’Brien said, noting that the program starts at the federal level. “It has been a great success here.”
O’Brien went on to praise the “team” – comprised of town and school officials, the Council on Aging, the library, and other recipients of a portion of the grant funding – for their efforts to secure reimbursement.
“These are actually live checks,” he quipped. “They can be deposited immediately!”
Wright noted that it will be two years ago this month since the program was first implemented, explaining that the purpose was “to help communities faced with a financial burden or cuts due to the pandemic.”
Town Manager Philip Lemnios complimented O’Brien and the commissioners for “a very transparent process,” coupled with the fact that this is the first time the Plymouth County commissioners had had the chance to work directly with local communities on a regular basis. He noted that he expects Hull to have received a total of $1.9 million in reimbursements “when all is said and done, because some requests are still in the works.”
CARES Act funding has reimbursed the town for unanticipated costs, including payroll expenses related to public-safety personnel who filled in when fellow staff members were out of work due to COVID19, and the cost of technology to enhance the remote learning experience of teachers and staff in the Hull Public Schools, “all [operating] within a very different and constrained environment,” Lemnios explained.
“If we hadn’t received these funds, many Hull residents would have suffered, including seniors who benefitted from transportation and other services that were provided during the pandemic, along with other beneficiaries,” Lemnios said. “This program has made a big difference in the lives of the people of Hull.”