Riverhead Town will receive another $1.72 million in COVID-19 relief funding under the American Rescue Plan Act, according to data released today by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The governor announced the distribution of another $387 million in COVID relief funds to local government, matching the state’s 2021 distribution of American Rescue Plan Act funds to 1,452 local governments across the state.

As it did last year, the town will allocate the bulk of its American Rescue Plan funds — about $ 1 million — to the construction of a Riverhead Water District storage tank, Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said in a phone interview this afternoon.

“We will also apply a substantial amount to public safety,” Aguiar said. “Money will go toward hooking up surveillance cameras downtown,” she said, “and starting the next phase.”

Some funds will be spent on updating and improving walking trails at Stotzky Park and the Calverton Enterprise Park, the supervisor said.

The federal American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law last year by President Joe Biden, is a $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package that included $360 billion of direct relief for state and local governments, including $10.7 billion in relief for New York State’s local governments. Federal guidelines allow New York’s cities, towns, and villages receiving ARPA funds to use this aid for purposes including but not limited to:

  • Support public health expenditures. For example, funds may be used for COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, and certain public health and safety staff;
  • Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency; This includes economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries, and the public sector;
  • Replace lost revenue. Funds may be used to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic;
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers. Additional support may be offered to those who have and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical sectors; and
  • Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure. Funds may be used to make necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and to expand access to broadband internet.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.