County Commissioners cut check for nearly $130k to Wareham
The Plymouth County Commissioners presented Wareham officials with a check for exactly $128,646.99 on Monday afternoon to reimburse the town for coronavirus-related expenditures.
The payment was the first the town has received from the federal CARES Act funding secured by Plymouth County. The county received $90 million, which it will continue to disperse through the end of this year.
“Wareham has done a fantastic job,” said Thomas O’Brien, the county’s treasurer, who has spearheaded the CARES program.
County Commissioner Gregory Hanley said that local officials like Town Administrator Derek Sullivan, Emergency Management Director Patrick MacDonald, Police Chief John Walcek, and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kimberly Shaver-Hood are “first-line responders -- you’re where the rubber hits the road.”
The county officials also expressed gratitude for the support of state legislators Senator Marc Pacheco and Representative Susan Williams-Gifford and Congressman Bill Keating, all of whom have advocated for the work the county is doing.
“It’s really gratifying to see the CARES Act in action,” said Michael Jackman, the district director for Congressman Bill Keating, adding that legislators don’t always get to see the outcome and impact of the bills they pass.
The commissioners also praised Wareham’s thoroughness and prompt responses to requests.
Every one of the 27 communities in the county has applied for CARES Act funding, while only about 200 of the 351 communities in Massachusetts have done so. Nationally, that rate is between 40 and 60 percent.
The town has so far spent the money on personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, and staffing -- most notably to fund public health nurses to assist with contact tracing and to pay for staff to distribute meals to kids in town while schools were closed and throughout the summer.
Town officials also said a special thank you to Skippy Wilcox, who worked closely with the emergency management department on keeping documentation in order.
Wareham officials expressed their gratitude for the funding, and said they are working on their next round of requests -- including to fund purchases necessary for the reopening of school buildings.
The county also presented the town with a map of the county, marked with the course of highways and railways throughout the county’s more than 1,000 square miles of territory.
For more information about Plymouth County’s CARES Act work, go to www.plymouthcountycares.com.