Deveney Explains Deadlines, Parameters for ARPA Funds

Erin Deveney, the Chief of Staff at City Hall, gave the members of the City Council an overview of the status of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for which the city is now ready to accept applications for qualified programs. Deveney noted at the outset that this information had been shared with council in the fall, but that several new councilors had been elected in November.

Councilor Stephanie Martins had filed a resolution asking about the status of the funds because of her concern that “time might be running out” to dispense the windfall from the federal government’s COVID economic recovery plan. Deveney outlined the status of the $11.2 million for the benefit of the newer members of the Council.

Deveney pointed out that an advisory board had met several times in the fall to explore the different programs that might be available to receive funds.  The advisory board was composed of childcare providers, religious leaders, residents, and stakeholders, among others.

Deveney pointed out that there were several “buckets” from which organizations and businesses could apply for funds. The following are the different categories that are being proposed:

— $4.3M for public health programs;

— $3.7M for housing assistance;

— $1.4M for education and childcare;

— $1.1M for food assistance;

— $1M for the Youth Council;

— $880,000 for parks and improvements; and

— $745,000 for small business support

Deveney noted that applications (which will be in several languages) are now available on the city’s website. On March 5 there will be a live webinar (which will be recorded) to help applicants navigate the application process. All applications need to be received by June 7, 2024, and all grants that are awarded must be used by December 31, 2026.

The funds were originally part of the ARPA package that Congress had passed during the COVID pandemic.  The City of Everett had originally been earmarked for $17 million, but Mayor Carlo DeMaria lobbied federal officials and the state’s elected representatives to make the case that Everett deserved more, given the disparity in funding that was made to smaller communities that had received larger amounts than Everett.

Thanks to the mayor’s efforts, the city’s ARPA grants increased by more than $25 million for a total of almost $42 million.

The approved projects for the use of the money must meet  stringent federal guidelines. If a program does not meet the federal requirements, Everett must return the money even if it has been spent.  Some residents had wanted to use the funding to rehab the former Pope John XXIII high school for a new middle school, but that was clearly not permitted under the ARPA guidelines.

The deadline for the City of Everett to dispense all the funds is December 31, 2024. Any funds not dispensed must be returned to the federal government.


The City Council unanimously approved several municipal board appointments with little fanfare.  However, the appointment of Millie Cardillo for three years as a member of the Board of Assessors did not go quite as smoothly. 

Councilor at Large Guerline Alcy Jabouin questioned the selection process as “not fair.” However, In a 9-1 vote in favor, Cardillo will fill the seat left vacant by William Hart, who resigned in October to become the new Superintendent of the Everett public schools.

Appointees who unanimously were approved included DeAnne Mullett to the Board of Health for three years; Rebecca Edmondson-Korom, who was re-appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA); Derek Shorter, who was reappointed as an associate member of the ZBA; and James Booker, who was reappointed to the Commission on Disabilities.

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