Author: Jesse Stewart

It's not every day that someone hands you $2 million but that is the case with the Town of Great Barrington. Well, there is a little more to it than that. After speaking with Great Barrington Town Manager Mark Pruhenski along with Great Barrington Assistant Town Manager Chris Rembold we learned that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) delegated $113 billion to the State of Massachusetts for pandemic relief. Out of that lump of money, Great Barrington has been allocated $2,075,908. Great Barrington is receiving both the local and county portion since county government no longer exists in the Berkshires.

Can the Money be Spent on Anything? 

According to Chris and Mark, there are restrictions on the funding. The money just can't be spent on anything. The types of things the money can be spent on include the following:

  • Supporting the public health response to the pandemic (that could be from vaccinations to hand sanitizer to improving the health and safety of worker environments, paying for health coverage...things of that nature)
  • Economic Impacts from the pandemic (people who can't pay their rent or mortgage, food, utility systems, or helping small businesses recover from the impact of the pandemic.)
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Great Barrington Residents Have a Voice and Say on How This Money is Spent

The town is looking for input from residents on how the funds should be obligated via ARPA survey. The survey only takes 5-10 minutes and needs to be completed by Nov. 22. Once the data is collected, the information will be presented to the board and the public. So, be on the lookout for a future public input session. You can take the survey in English by going here and in Spanish by going here.

While we're on the topic of the pandemic, here are some answers to some common COVID-19 questions.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

Are you interested in where you can live the longest? Take a look at these states. 

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

Do you remember these items?

LOOK: Things from the year you were born that don't exist anymore

The iconic (and at times silly) toys, technologies, and electronics have been usurped since their grand entrance, either by advances in technology or breakthroughs in common sense. See how many things on this list trigger childhood memories—and which ones were here and gone so fast you missed them entirely.