Photo: Belmont Town Administrator Patrice Garvin.
Patrice Garvin is likely the sort of person who has the innate ability to find loose money others overlook: quarters on the ground, $10 in coat pockets, a box of cash under the bed.
It’s certainly one way to explain the Belmont Town Administrator’s aptness in finding a steady stream of cash from state, federal and outside sources that go into town coffers. The latest example coming last week when Garvin securing nearly a quarter of a million dollars in state supplemental appropriation funds with the hope of a whole lot more from Washington DC.
“This is outside of the operating budget so these are things that we would not have been able to do without these appropriations,” said Garvin, who started her tenure in the Town of Homes in January 2018 obtaining a $30,000 Community Compact Grant from the state for new forecasting software. Later appropriations included state transportation funds, private grants and federal funds.
The biggest “get” by Garvin was the potential of $3.5 million for the construction of the community path from Brighton Street to Belmont Center being accepted by US Rep. Katherine Clark who submitted it to be funded through the congressional bill HR 2, the Moving Forward Act. Board Chair Adam Dash thanked Clark for taking the interest because a congressional earmark “is a big deal. I don’t even know when Belmont ever did that last, so this is great.”
“Federally earmarked for the community path is excellent,” said Dash using his best Mr. Burns impression.
Garvin also scored on three of her five supplemental appropriation requests to State Rep. Dave Rogers. Technically, supplemental appropriations are a tool for policymakers to address needs that arise after the fiscal year has begun.
The three earmarks included:
- $125,000 to redesign two intersections; Winter Street and Concord Avenue and Mill Street and Concord, which have become increasingly unsafe due to ever increasing vehicle traffic which pre-pandemic reached 12,000 daily trips.
- $60,000 for Rock Meadow to allow greater maintinance – mowing the fields, creating wider paths and introducing more trash recepticles – at this important regional recreation site which as seen visitor number jump since COVID-19 arrived.
- $60,000 to invest in IT equipment and infrastructure to allow town boards and committees to continue remote meetings after public meetings return later in the year.
“David [Rogers] is a great partner to the town. He really brings in a lot of money for us,” said Garvin.
Board member Roy Epstein thanked Garvin for including Rock Meadow in her requests noting it “an orphan child.”
Garvin said through the fiscal year residents, boards and stakeholders will ask the town to “keep them in mind and that’s kind of what we do when we … go for this additional money.”
“The amount of money you bring into town, Patrice, is astounding. Don’t ever stop,” said Dash.