By Adam Swift
The City Council approved several requests from the finance director at last week’s meeting, including the establishment of a gift account for funds donated to substance use disorder and homeless initiatives programs.
“There have been a few donations that are pending receipt to the city for use for substance use disorder and homeless initiatives,” said Richard Viscay, the city’s finance director. “We currently do not have an avenue to accept those funds.”
State law requires the council to establish a gift account to accept those funds and put them to use for the prescribed initiatives.
Councillor-at-Large Marc Silvestri asked if there were specific directives for how the gift funds could be used.
“There is a pending donation of $5,000 to help with the substance use disorders,” said Viscay. “I didn’t put a fine point on the uses of that; I try to keep it broad so it is a little flexible in the way it is used. But it is our job in the auditor’s office to make sure those funds are used for substance use disorders and homeless initiatives.”
In other financial business, the council approved using $128,970 in Community Improvement Trust funds as a 25 percent grant match for tide gate design and permitting at Diamond Creek.
The city recently received a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant from the state in the amount of $386,911 for the project toward the $515,000 for the comprehensive study for the project, Viscay stated.
The council also approved appropriating nearly $92,000 received in rideshare payments over the past year to the city’s roadway capital fund.
“This is the appropriation required by the Commonwealth for the money we receive for rides that are generated from within the city from Ubers and Lyft accounts,” said Viscay. “We do get 10 cents for each ride that originates in the city. As a matter of law, (the council) has to appropriate that money so we can use it for our traffic improvements and street work.”