WILTON — The Town of Wilton has acquired the first half of American Rescue Plan Act funds — $220,000 of the total $440,000 it will receive, Town Manager Rhonda Irish told the Select Board at their Tuesday, Nov. 2, meeting.

Irish said she is still meeting with the Maine Municipal Association to get a full understanding of how the town can spend this funding.

The categories and uses for funding include:

•  Public health: vaccinations, COVID-19 testing, acquiring personal protective equipment.

•  Negative economic impacts: household assistance, food programs, rent, mortgage and utility aid, internet account programs, aid to tourism travel and more hospitality.

•  Services to disproportionately impacted communities — early learning, childcare, home visiting and affordable housing

•  Premium pay — pay for public sector employees, grants to other employees that worked last year during the pandemic.

•  Infrastructure — wastewater and water conservation, drinking water transmission and distribution, broadband projects

•  Revenue replacement — funding for the revenue a town might have lost in 2020 during the pandemic, which must be proved.

•  Administrative and other.

Irish is also looking into hiring a coordinator to ensure when “we cross our ‘Ts’, dot our ‘I’s’, (we are) correctly spending it because we don’t want to spend it thinking we’re okay (and) find out when we do our reports that we have to pay it back because we didn’t spend it correctly.”

Before the town can spend the funds, there must be a public hearing and special town meeting to approve the spending, Irish said.

Selectperson Tom Saviello suggested the money be put toward daycares so that the town can “help … a lot of people (who) are not able to go back to work because daycares are closed (and) they’re forced to stay home because they have a child.”

Selectperson Tiffany Maiuri supported the idea of directing funds toward the “premium pay” category.

Selectboard Chair David Leavitt directed Irish to lighten the agenda for their next board meeting in order to dedicate significant time for discussion and brainstorming on how to spend the ARPA funds.

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