Hudson expects to receive approximately $4.36 million from federal stimulus bill
City leaders have not made decisions on how money will be used; mayor favors using funds for overpass at Hines Hill Road railroad crossing
HUDSON — The city is expected to receive approximately $4.36 million from federal stimulus money, but how those funds will be used has not been determined.
President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, also known as the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, into law on March 11.
Mayor Craig Shubert said the city will receive half of the estimated $4.36 million within the next 60 days and the remaining 50 percent will arrive at least 12 months after the first payment is issued.
City Manager Jane Howington said she has heard the money is "going to be primarily tied to COVID, COVID issues, health-related issues," but added the city has received "very little information" from the U.S. Treasury Department on "what these funds can be used for and how to access them."
Howington said she hopes to provide more information on the stimulus money at the April 6 council meeting.
"Once [city] staff has the guidance from [the] Treasury [Department], a work session will be scheduled with council during which we can provide said guidance and council can discuss and/or direct staff to move in a particular direction," Howington said.
Noting the funds can be used for "infrastructure projects related to health and safety," Shubert said he would like to see the money put toward constructing an overpass on Hines Hill Road at the Norfolk Southern railroad crossing.
"The construction of this overpass will ensure an unimpeded emergency response by Hudson EMS, Fire, and Police to the northwest quadrant of our city which is needed to protect the health and safety of our residents," Shubert said.
He added he believes the overpass is necessary to ensure "the safe passage of school buses … which we have seen trying to make a U-turn on Hines Hill Road due to a stopped train."
The mayor shared a copy of an email that he recently sent to both council and the administration where he recommended using the stimulus money for the Hines Hill project.
The cost to build the overpass is estimated at $10 million plus 10% more for contingencies, the mayor said.
"This money puts us well on our way to starting this long-awaited project," Shubert said. "Accruing an additional $1.14 million from the general fund over the course of the next two years would then permit us to finance the remaining 50% and begin construction in 2023.”
Under the city's charter, the mayor does not have the authority to authorize expenditures, and the city manager is only allowed to authorize expenditures of up to $25,000. Any expenditure higher than $25,000 must be approved by council.
Howington emphasized that council has not discussed potential uses of stimulus funds that the city may receive.
Hudson City School District Superintendent Phil Herman said the district is expected to receive about $1.38 million, but the final amount has not been confirmed.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.