Ambrosino confident governor will consider Chelsea’s unique situation

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he is confident Gov. Charlie Baker will consider the extraordinary costs that Chelsea has borne in the next round of state and federal funding – saying the governor has been supportive with testing and the use of the EnVision Hotel for COVID-19 quarantining already.

A letter signed by several elected officials and organizations in Chelsea three weeks ago called on the governor to consider a massive package of funding to help with impending evictions, food insecurity, and many other issues Chelsea has and is expected to face in the coming months. Ambrosino didn’t sign onto that letter, but said he has had conversations with the governor.

“We have used a tremendous amount of financial resources and Chelsea has expended more money on helping its residents than most cities and towns in the Commonwealth,” he said. “I spoke to the governor about that and he expressed support.”

So far, federal CARES Act monies has been doled out equally to each City and Town based on population, but not on how affected they’ve been by COVID-19 and its related tragedies. In the next round, it is hoped that Baker will consider the plight of a place like Chelsea, and decide to fund it at a far greater rate that a rural community with very few cases.

“We are hoping that in the distribution of federal CARES Act money, he’ll take into account some areas are more disproportionately affected than others, and Chelsea is in that category,” he said. “I think the governor has indicated publicly he will be considering disproportionate impacts in the state. We’ll have another round of substantial federal reimbursements. I’m hoping at that time, we’ll get a distribution that reflects our impacts.”

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