RANDOLPH – Randolph and three other Massachusetts communities will split an additional $100 million after officials decided they were shortchanged by the latest federal stimulus package.
Randolph will be sharing the $100 million with Chelsea, Everett and Methuen to address a range of COVID-19 needs, such as replacing lost municipal revenue; investing in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure; and easing the pandemic’s economic impact, Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday.
The money, which Baker’s office said will come from existing or future federal revenue, aims to correct formula hiccups in the American Rescue Plan that left the four communities with less money compared to other municipalities that have not faced the same obstacles.
Looking at the funding breakdown between “relatively better off” cities and towns and Chelsea, Everett, Methuen and Randolph, Baker said, “it was pretty clear that there was a problem.”
On the South Shore, $116 million should start flowing to cities and towns within the next few months, but three South Shore municipalities will receive $73 million of that total, while the other 23 towns in the region will split the rest based on population.
Randolph’s estimated original allocation, $3.4 million, is small because federal legislators used the Community Development Block Grant funding formula to divvy up the money.
Communities that are already part of the Community Development Block Grant Program get 70 percent of the funding, while the other communities get 30 percent. Any city with more than 50,000 people automatically qualifies as as a block grant community, although some smaller municipalities also qualify.
Quincy was the biggest winner on the South Shore, with an estimated $46.3 million, or $490 per person. The federal formula for block grant communities is based on population, poverty levels and available housing.
Weymouth is expected to receive $17.8 million, or $308 per person, and Plymouth is estimated to receive $9.7 million, or $157 per person, according to data from both the U.S. Senate Democratic Leadership and an analysis by the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
Every other South Shore community, including Randolph, is to receive about $99 per person from the latest federal stimulus package. Randolph’s population is estimated at 34,362, which means it will get $3.4 million, despite being hard hit by the pandemic.
That does not include money South Shore municipalities will likely receive through Norfolk and Plymouth counties. The counties in the state will be dividing a separate pot of money, $1.3 billion, based on population. There has been no guidance from the Treasury Department on how it is to be apportioned or used.
State and local governments in Massachusetts are set to receive $7.9 billion in direct aid from the latest round of federal stimulus money, $3.4 billion of which will go to counties, cities and towns, Baker said.
House Speaker Ron Mariano said the House was working with the Senate and the Baker administration to identify all the cities and towns that may have been “shortchanged” by the federal government’s funding formula.
“It’s a work in progress and we’ve identified I think three or four towns already, but we think there are more,” Mariano told the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Thursday morning.
The money will not arrive for several weeks, Baker said.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who along with other members of the state’s congressional delegation had called on Baker to reallocate stimulus money to hard-hit communities, celebrated the announcement Thursday.
“This relief should be used as Congress intended – to fully support the communities that have been on the front lines on this pandemic, including our communities of color hit hardest by this public health emergency,” Warren said in a statement.
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State House News Service material was used in this report. Reach reporter Wheeler Cowperthwaite at [email protected].