Rochester Town Administrator gives updates on county covid aid

Jul 21, 2020

ROCHESTER — At a July 20 Selectmen’s meeting, Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar spoke about the town’s options for allotting school funding using the town’s $480,000 aid allotted by the county.

Under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the town can use this money for anything coronavirus-related.

At the meeting, Szyndlar told Selectmen she is setting aside $250,000 of the aid to cover student costs for the coming year for Rochester. 

The commonwealth suggests that towns and cities allot $225 per student for the coming school year to pay for coronavirus-related expenditures such as personal protective equipment.

That money will cover the roughly 1,000 Rochester students who attend schools in the Old Rochester Regional School District and Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School.

Szyndlar said that the town can be approved for more funding per student because the state is not handling CARES act funding for Plymouth County.

Instead, the county is allotting its $91 million of federal aid to its 27 cities and towns on its own.

Plymouth County and Boston are the only two places in the state that are handling their federal aid.

Depending on how the schools plan to return in the fall, Szyndlar said they could use more or less than the $225.

Szyndlar also told Selectmen that she submitted a $28,000 reimbursement to the county for general coronavirus-related expenses that they have used thus far as part of the CARES act.

That includes personal protective equipment for town employees, payments for remote meeting services like Zoom, hazmat suits, thermometers and the costs involved with the recent town election.

Rochester has until Dec. 31 to use its coronavirus-related allotment of funds.