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New Fairfield residents approve ARPA projects

New Fairfield residents have signed off on 10 projects to be funded with American Rescue Plan Act dollars.  By a vote of 652 to 390, the package of proposals was approved in a vote Tuesday.  Among the items being funded are public safety improvements.  The Emergency Management Director and Resident Sergeant have made recommendations on security improvements to Town buildings and Communications infrastructure. Their recommendations include improvements to building security and replacement of the end of life dispatch console. ARPA expressly allows provisions for funding police, fire and other public safety services.  Some of the funding would go to premium pay for public health and safety employees and volunteer firefighters, grants to local small businesses impacted by the pandemic and an emergency housing fund to help residents on the verge of homelessness.  The beach house will also be renovated and a sewer design will be drawn up to address aging, failing systems in the Town Center.  Money will also be used for a Community Center feasibility study.  The study that would bring together the public and other stakeholders to answer questions such as what would residents like to see in a Community Center.  Some of what's been discussed in the past range from a space with meeting rooms to a facility with a gym, outdoor pool and playing fields.  Each concept requires a different amount and type of space.  The study would also look at whether New Fairfield owns a suitable piece of property, building costs, and how it would be staffed and maintained.