On Thursday, Congressman Welch spoke with local officials to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on each of their municipalities. He said the federal government needs to have a continued economic response to help states and towns.
Welch said negotiations to give federal money through a second COVID relief package are currently stalled. According to ABC news, white house officials say negotiations will cease if an agreement is not reached by Friday. Welch said something needs to happen quickly because a lot more federal aid is needed.
” The federal government is the only fiscal entity that has the flexibility and the capacity to provide the financial where with all to help our communities, to help our small businesses and to help our individuals,” said Welch.
Welch said the house recently passed a $3 trillion package. But he said it is important to local communities that we get as much of that signed by the president as possible. In that package Welch said there is $3 billion that would come to the state and to municipalities.
Many municipalities passed their budgets months before the pandemic started, but as time went on part of their budgets had to go towards a COVID-19 response.
“Our greatest concern right now are budgetary; our expenses will be up. Our greatest concern is the unknown effect on property tax payments, “said Danville selectboard chair Ken Linsley.
Maura Carroll from the Vermont League of Cities and towns sent out a survey to municipalities about what towns were seeing for revenue loss. She said many municipalities spent money on things, like PPE, money for remote meeting software, and additional custodial services.
“Some cost savings were anticipated but the responses indicated that unanticipated expenses exceeded those cost savings,” said Carroll.