Village of Massena using pandemic relief funding for information technology upgrades

Nov. 28—MASSENA — The village of Massena will use American Rescue Plan Act funds to upgrade the information technology systems in the Massena Police Department and village offices.

Trustees have approved using $131,000 of the village’s relief funds to upgrade the system in the police department and village offices, and $48,024 for information technology services.

Mayor Timothy J. Ahlfeld said the village had asked Twin State to review the village’s needs. Twin State handles IT services in village offices, while a separate company is responsible for those services in the police department.

“We entertained Twin State to come in and do an analysis of our systems here and our systems down in the police department,” Mr. Ahlfeld said. “They recognize that there’s some changes that need to be made and some investment that needs to be made.”

He shared that information with trustees and discussed how they could use the American Rescue Plan Act funding to their advantage.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill signed into law in March. Within ARPA, the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund provides $350 billion for states, municipalities, counties, tribes and territories, including $130 billion for local governments split evenly between municipalities and counties.

Among the possible uses for the funding is to invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and to expand access to broadband internet

“One of the beauties of ARPA, the American Rescue Plan Act, is they recognize that there are holes in IT infrastructures, and that came to light when people had to work from home through this COVID crisis,” Mr. Ahlfeld said. “So, there’s monies available through ARPA funds that we can expend on cyber assets.”

He said the amount of funding approved by trustees would take care of needs that were identified by Twin State.

“I asked them to fast track their assessment,” he said.

Twin State was scheduled to visit with village officials last week to talk about the specifics of the work.

Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire said it was a good use of the funds for something critical, which would alleviate the need to use money from the general fund in the future to address the IT deficiencies.