EDUCATION

 

A Collaborative Technology Enhancement Initiative ($158,200)

Tantasqua Regional School District (Lead); Towns of Brimfield, Brookfield, Holland, Sturbridge, and Wales

Five towns and six school districts share a central office and are seeking funding to update operating systems in four of the towns and to create a collaborative partnership with the Tantasqua RSD.  This will be done through securing equipment for the Town Hall offices with updates and hiring a technologist to address the monthly needs of each of the towns.  Following the grant, the towns and regional school district would absorb the costs of the technologist.

 

Creating an Agriculturally Based Curriculum at Hawlemont ($130,000)

Hawlemont Regional School District

Hawlemont services students in grades preK-6.  The school has faced declining enrolment, and this program will help it to rejuvenate the school with an innovative curriculum focused on hands-on agricultural learning, based on a similar project in Walton, Kansas.  Animals will be loaned by local farmers, and foundations may provide additional funding and support

 

School StatNet Continuation and Expansion ($90,000)

Cities of Somerville (Lead), Everett, Fitchburg, Lowell, Revere, and Springfield; Town of Westborough

This project received funding in FY13 to establish the program.  In the first year, the work focused on hosting meetings and testing the concept.  In the second year, the participating entities hope to expand the initiative by (1) Embedding shorter School StatNet like meetings in the regular meetings of existing school-related professional associations; (2) Facilitate study teams composed of representatives from the state and from districts; and (3) Pilot implementation of a performance management program in which analysts get assigned to districts to help them roll out performance management initiatives.

 

Establishment of a Regional Technology Infrastructure for the New Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School District ($125,000)

North Shore Vocational Technical School District (Lead); Essex Agricultural School District

North Shore Technical High School and Essex Agricultural and Technical High School are located within four miles of each other, and in the fall of 2014 they will regionalize with technical programs from the Peabody Public Schools to create the largest vocational-technical-agricultural district in the Commonwealth.  This project will allow all of the districts to be on the same systems and software.  The grant will allow the communication system to be in place by the time the new district is open.

 

Expanding Model Program for Students with Dyslexia ($44,000)

Manchester-Essex Regional School District

This program builds on a project that received CIC funding in FY12 and FY13.  The current program includes grades 4-5 and grade 6 programs, and additional funding would establish an 8th grade program.  This would provide a continuum of services, expand common methodologies, increase overall cost avoidance, and preclude the need for out of district placements.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION/ PUBLIC WORKS

 

Central Massachusetts Regional Stormwater Coalition ($80,000)

Towns of Spencer (Lead), Auburn, Boylston, Charlton, Dudley, Grafton, Hardwick, Holden, Hopkinton, Leicester, Millbury, Monson, Northbridge, Northborough, North Brookfield, Oxford, Palmer, Paxton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Upton, Uxbridge, Ware, Webster, West Boylston, Westborough, Wilbraham

Thirty member municipalities known as the Central Massachusetts Regional Stormwater Collaborative (CMRSWC) are continuing their efforts to address requirements from US EPA’s Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) General Permit.   This year’s funding will help add new tasks such as developing a performance management program and incorporating tools to increase the financial and technical sustainability of the Collaborative for future years.

 

Gateway City LED Streetlight Retrofits ($237,000)

Metropolitan Area Planning Council (Lead); Cities of Brockton, Chicopee, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Malden, and Westfield

Funding will allow the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) to work with seven Gateway Cities to complete LED streetlight retrofit projects.   MAPC will assist the communities in drafting procurement documents, reviewing proposals, understanding options for LED products, financing, maintenance, and drafting contracts.  The project will provide communities with technical knowledge and access to a group procurement method that will reduce acquisition costs.

 

Hamilton-Wenham Regional Department of Public Facilities and Infrastructure ($90,000)

Towns of Wenham (Lead) and Hamilton; Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District

Funding will build on a project that received $30,000 in FY13 to plan out a merged facilities department.  Additional funding will allow the participating entities to purchase equipment to facilitate the merger of the departments.  Additionally, funding will be utilized to ensure that all three entities are on the same accounting software which will facilitate the merger.

 

Regional Forestry Equipment Cooperative ($193,675)

Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (Lead); Towns of Auburn, Barre, Hubbardston, Oakham, Paxton, and Rutland

Funding will allow six communities in Central Massachusetts to establish a Regional Forestry Equipment Cooperative.  Funding will be used for the acquisition of a bucket truck, training, and development of an intermunicipal agreement to govern the use of the equipment and cost-sharing formula.  This builds on the successful co-op program established by the Town of Brookfield, and can serve as a model for other interested municipalities.

 

Regional Recycling of Agricultural Plastics and Fuel Pellet Bags ($60,950)

Franklin County Solid Waste District

Franklin County is home to a large number of agricultural operations.  Many farms generate plastic wastes, with the largest being the white film that wraps green hay.  The District received a $18,350 Sustainable Materials Recovery Program pilot grant from MassDEP to set up a pilot collection program for recyclable plastics.  In 2013, the recycling market insisted that all materials for recycling must be baled by product type prior to shipping by truck, which was a hurdle that the District could not overcome due to lack of equipment.  The District then used part of the DEP grant, with approval, towards trucking costs for materials that were not baled.  This grant will allow the District to successfully divert two high-volume waste streams (agricultural plastic and fuel pellet bags) into a recycling stream.  Funding will be used to purchase equipment to store and compact the agricultural plastics.

 

Merrimack Valley Stormwater Collaborative ($145,000)

Merrimack Valley Regional Planning Commission (Lead); Cities of Amesbury, Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen, and Newburyport; Towns of Andover, Boxford, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, North Andover, Rowley, Salisbury, and West Newbury

All 15 municipalities in this region signed onto this application to establish a regional stormwater collaborative.  The proposed funding amount is less than the requested amount and based on the belief that the Collaborative can utilize documents and materials established by the similar project established by the Town of Spencer.

 

Multi-Board Purchasing Program/ Shared Articulation List ($56,400)

Blackstone Valley Regional School District (Lead); Mendon-Upton Regional School District; Town of Upton

This grant will allow the Blackstone Valley Regional Technical School District to purchase an indoor/outdoor "Cherry-Picker" articulation lift, and develop a formal agreement to share it with the Mendon-Upton RSD and the Town of Upton.  This will allow for the purchase of future equipment that can be shared.  Currently, the three entities rent lifts or contact out the work, which costs members over $10,000 per year.

 

Neponset Valley Regional Stormwater Collaborative ($130,366)

Metropolitan Area Planning Council (Lead); Towns of Canton, Dedham, Medfield, Milton, Norwood, Randolph, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole, and Westwood

Working with MAPC, this group of eleven municipalities will establish a regional program to prepare for new EPA stormwater permitting requirements.  Each of the eleven municipalities participating in this program agreed to pay $5,000 to participate in the first year, which accounts for the relatively small ask as well as sustainability goals of the program.

 

Natick- Natick Soldier Services Joint Services Project ($11,000)

Town of Natick

A goal of the project is to better connect the Town of Natick and the Natick Soldier Services Center in an on-going working, collaborative fashion.  Currently, both entities undertake several property, facility, and grounds upkeep tasks every year as any property owner would.  The most important purpose of the shared services application is to allow the NSSC to be a more cost effective operation and property as Department of Defense facilities worldwide are evaluated for possible closure in the near future.

 

Northern Middlesex Stormwater Collaborative Expansion ($81,000)

Northern Middlesex Council of Governments (Lead); City of Lowell; Towns of Billerica, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Littleton, Pepperell, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Westford, and Wilmington

The Northern Middlesex Council of Governments (NMCOG) received $98,000 in CIC funding to develop a regional stormwater collaboration.  This year, NMCOG will receive additional funding to add four communities, bringing the total number of participants to 13.  Additionally, funding will allow the participating municipalities to work on a public outreach component of the program.

 

Regionalizing Municipal Stormwater Management in Southeastern Massachusetts ($80,000)

Towns of Mansfield (Lead), Abington, Bridgewater, Canton, East Bridgewater, Easton, Foxboro, Middleborough, North Attleboro, Norton, Plainville, Raynham, Sharon, Stoughton, West Bridgewater, and Wrentham; Cities of Brockton and Taunton

Eighteen member municipalities will work with the Southeastern Regional Services Group (SERSG) to develop the Southeastern Massachusetts Stormwater Collaborative.  The collaborative will directly help these communities to improve the quality of their local watersheds and comply with the mandates of U.S. EPA’s Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) General Permit.   The recommended funding amount is a reduction from the original request, reflecting the belief that the municipalities can utilize certain documents and materials already established through the project led by the Town of Spencer.

 

 

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

 

Co-Location of Appraisal System with Amherst and Pelham ($25,000)

City of West Springfield (Lead); Towns of Amherst and Pelham

In FY2013, the Towns of Amherst and Pelham received a $35,000 CIC grant to merge assessing functions.  This merger allowed property cards for both towns to be in the same database and supported an inter-municipal agreement through which the Town of Amherst providing staffing and technical assistance to the part-time Pelham Board of Assessors.  This project will allow the City of West Springfield to join the same assessing system as the Towns of Amherst and Pelham.

 

Co-Location of Financial Management Software ($180,000)

Town of Amherst (Lead); City of Northampton

 

Both the Town of Amherst and the City of Northampton use Tyler

Technologies’ Munis program for financial management purposes.  Currently, Tyler hosts this program for the City of Northampton, at a cost of $80,000 per year.  Through this program, Amherst will host the program for Northampton, which will allow Northampton to realize $80,000 in savings each year.  Additionally, it will serve as a platform for other IT collaborations between the two communities. 

 

Connecting the Dots: Public Access, Cloud Accounting, and Security ($128,000)

Town of Washington (Lead); Members of the Community Software Consortium (CSC)

A group of small communities, with the support and encouragement of the Division of Local Services (DLS), developed the Community Software Consortium (CSC) approximately 20 years ago.  The municipalities established CSC as a means of developing and sharing software to respond to DLS’ online reporting requirements for tax assessment and collection data.  In FY12, the group received funding to create a new tax collection software program.  This year, the CSC asked for funding to enhance their accounting, treasury, and assessing systems, as well as to develop a new Remote IT Backup and Security System.  The proposed funding will allow the group to develop a new Remote IT Backup and Security System to assist with the securing of municipal IT data.  The program will become sustainable through CSC membership dues.

 

Enhancement and Expansion of Commonwealth Connect ($80,000)

Metropolitan Area Planning Council (Lead); City of Boston

In 2012, the City of Boston received a $400,000 CIC grant to develop the Commonwealth Connect App, a smart phone app that allows residents in participating municipalities to report quality of life issues to their municipal government.  The original grant provided funding for project management, as well as for the procurement of vendor services to develop a platform and engage up to 35 cities and towns. 

 

Hampshire Cloud ($105,000)

Hampshire Council of Governments (Lead); Towns of Hadley, Chesterfield, Amherst, Rowe, and Westhampton

In FY13, the HCOG, working with the Towns of Hadley and Chesterfield, received $80,000 to initiate this project.  The HCOG is seeking additional funding to include three new municipalities in the project which develops cloud computing capabilities for small municipalities in Hampshire County.  Grant funding allows for the purchase of hardware, software, and technical and administrative data which, as growth mandates, could be hosted at the Springfield Data Center.  This program alleviates significant issues for small communities, such as costs and security issues related to IT storage. 

 

Municipal Open Checkbook System ($180,000)

Cities of Woburn (Lead), Chelsea, Chicopee, and Revere; Town of Brookline

In 2013, these five communities received $120,000 in CIC funding to develop the first year of the program.  The municipalities worked with a vendor to develop the system, and engaged an additional seven municipalities to participate in the program, bringing the total number of participant municipalities to 12.  Additional funding will ensure that up to 20 additional communities can participate in this program. 

 

Open Checkbook ($4,800)

City of West Springfield

The Municipal Open Checkbook program, spearheaded by the City of Woburn, is currently only open to municipalities that have Munis financial management system.  This low-dollar project will allow the City of West Springfield to develop a low-cost program using their web host.

 

4-town GIS Mapping Project ($20,000)

Towns of Franklin (Lead), Norfolk, Plainville, and Wrentham

These four communities recently joined together to implement a regional dispatch program.  CIC funding will allow the towns to work together to develop a mapping layer of all four communities that could be utilized by the dispatch program and serve as a model for other future regional public safety collaborations between these municipalities. 

 

 

PUBLIC HEALTH

 

Hampden County Shared Public Health Nurse Assistance Program ($110,000)

Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (Lead); City of West Springfield; Towns of Blandford, East Longmeadow, Granville, Southwick, Montgomery, Palmer, and Tolland

This builds on the success of a project that first received CIC funding in FY12.  Several communities expressed an interest in joining this program, which provides a public health nursing service to participating municipalities.  DPH strongly supports this proposal, which also includes funding to conduct a health needs assessment that will allow the municipalities to develop a plan to ensure the success of the program.

 

Massachusetts Tick-Borne Disease Network ($111,300)

Towns of Bedford (Lead), Buckland, Charlemont, Conway, Deerfield, Gill, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Monroe, Shelburne, Acton, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord, Lincoln, Winchester, Barnstable, Brewster, Bourne, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet, Yarmouth, Nantucket

The program will engage 32 municipalities from across the state and work with the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at the University of Massachusetts to collect, identify, test, and report the occurrence of ticks and associated diseases.  Currently, no concerted effort exists to combat tick-borne diseases in the Commonwealth.  Results of the tests will be made available to residents, and additional public health outreach messaging will be developed and a summation of data collected will be provided to Mass. DPH to support their statewide disease surveillance efforts.

 

Public Health Nursing Program, Year 3 Expansion ($47,042)

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (Lead); City of North Adams; Towns of Adams, Alford, Becket, Clarksburg, Dalton, Egremont, Florida, Great Barrington, Hancock, Lanesborough, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Peru, Richmond, Sandisfield, Savoy, Sheffield, Washington, West Stockbridge, Williamstown, Windsor

In 2012, this group of municipalities received a federally-funded District Implementation Grant (DIG) from Mass. DPH to establish the Berkshire Health Alliance.  This is a different model than a traditional health district, through which municipalities can choose to participate in particular programs offered by the Alliance, such as the public health nursing.  This program received CIC funding in FY12 and FY13 to build the public health nursing program.  Additionally funding will allow the Alliance to engage more municipalities as the program has grown in interest over the last three years.  The program expects to become fully self-sustaining by the spring of 2015.

 

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Cloud Based Visual Access for First Responders ($13,604)

Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical School District (Lead); Town of Palmer

Currently, Pathfinder provides area first responders with detailed blueprints and building plans for use in the case of an emergency.  The new software purchased will store needed information such as call lists, chemical and power sources, and on-line safety plans all at a key stroke. Most importantly responders can externally access our cameras.  Hence, from the safety of distance, first responders can see through Pathfinder cameras’  eyes and effectively prepare for what’s ahead of them. Once installed, Pathfinder will operate as a pilot school.

 

Eastern Hampshire District Criminal Intelligence Equipment Sharing ($18,000)

Towns of Amherst (Lead), Belchertown, and Pelham

Funding would allow for the purchase video surveillance equipment utilized to deter and prevent criminal activities and enterprises.  The grant would allow for the purchase of surveillance video equipment that can be deployed quickly via turnkey wireless surveillance solutions in high crime and liability areas.  Equipment will be shared by the three participating municipalities and can serve as an example for future public safety collaborations in this region.

 

Ensuring Quality Police Data ($80,000)

Cities of Chelsea (Lead), Everett, and Revere

This project builds on data analysis and performance management work that these three communities began last year. Working together, they will determine why errors occur with crime data, provide strategies to eliminate errors, and establish uniform reporting processes and data audit guidelines. This process will improve the capacity of communities to share data, and develop joint to address crime, and allow the state to evaluate grant programs better. The three participating communities will share the findings and recommendations from the study with other municipalities to foster statewide changes.

 

Franklin County Initiative for Regional Excellence in Response (FIRE Response) ($79,557)

Franklin Regional Council of Governments (Lead); Towns of Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Gill, Heath, Leverett, Leyden, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Shelburne, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Warwick, and Wendell

This project began through a study initiated by the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) utilizing District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) funding.  The overall objective is to improve the speed, staffing, and expertise of fire response.  It will provide consistent data, develop shared performance measures, and develop regional collaborations.  Funding will purchase and provide a shared software platform, collect data, and use the data to improve collaborations to better meet the response and operations standards set by the National Fire Protection Association and similar organizations. 

 

North Quabbin Regional Animal Control Program ($91,257)

Franklin Regional Council of Governments; Towns of Athol, Orange, Petersham, and Royalston

Funding will create a regional animal control program in the North Quabbin region through the expansion of the Town of Athol’s current program, providing service to three additional surrounding towns.  Funds will expand the current kennel, assist in paying for additional part-time staffing, and planning time to finalize agreements and policy documents of the expanded program.  An intermunicipal agreement, which was part of the application package, will ensure that the communities develop a program of regional governance and sustainability through annual fees.

 

Northwestern District Anti-Crime Task Force Expansion ($71,954)

Franklin Regional Council of Governments (Lead); Cities of Easthampton, Greenfield and Northampton; Towns of Athol, Amherst, Montague, Belchertown, Orange, Ware, Erving, Deerfield, and Southampton

Funding will expand the scope of a project that first received CIC funding in FY13.  Additional funding will allow the program to expand into two additional areas: (1) Creation a Human Trafficking Coalition; (2) Integration the Task Force into a newly-developing Franklin County Opiate Task Force; Assistance provided by the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office ensures that this program can become a regional model for sharing crime data across jurisdictions.  The reduced amount reflects the belief that funding for training can be absorbed in the budgets of each participating police department.

 

South County Emergency Management Services ($160,620)

Towns of Deerfield (Lead), Sunderland, and Whatley

In 2011, these three communities engaged a consultant and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments to study the feasibility of providing shared emergency management services (EMS).  The study supported a regional EMS program, and the towns are now seeking funding to purchase the necessary equipment, communications services, and support services to successfully implement this new service over the next year.  The towns will work together to maximize their financial and human resources, as well as eliminate high costs associated with the purchase of large capital items through the pooling of funds.  The towns are in the process of hiring a regional director, and recently established a regional governance board. Funding will allow for the purchase of capital equipment to get ensure the towns have the correct materials to begin the program.

 

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

Expansion of Partners and Services Provided by CrossTown Connect ($40,000)

Towns of Acton (Lead), Boxborough, Concord, Littleton, Maynard, Stow, and Westford

Led by the Town of Acton, this group of communities received $184,000 in CIC funds in FY12 to create a regional transportation association.  Working with a local business park, the group of communities procured the services of a vendor to evaluate and consolidate shuttle service routes previously provided by each individual town.  In FY13, the group received $60,000 in CIC funds to add the towns of Concord and Westford, bring the total number of participating municipalities to seven.  This year, the municipalities requested funding to develop Transportation Impact Zones (TIZs).  A TIZ, or cluster of small businesses working together to participate in a transportation association, could serve as a model for other transportation associations. 

 

MetroWest Moves Regional Complete Streets Prioritization ($75,500)

Towns of Hudson (Lead) and Framingham; City of Marlborough

Funding will allow the City of Marlborough and the Towns of Framingham and Hudson to develop a replicable computer-based Complete Streets Prioritization Tool.  The tool will enable  bicycle and pedestrian components to be factored into capital decision making by municipalities.  This would facilitate increased efficiency for local planning, engineering, and implementation of the program using a context sensitive design approach.  Funds will be used for data development, municipal and public engagement, development and testing, and a review of planned, municipal roadway investments to implement Complete Streets features.  The program will be replicable and made available for use by other cities and towns in Massachusetts.

 

Middlesex 3 Coalition- Transportation Coordination ($147,800)

Towns of Billerica (Lead), Burlington, Bedford, and Chelmsford; City of Lowell

This regional transportation association builds on the successful program established in FY12 by the Town of Acton with CIC funding.  Funding will allow the participating towns and city to (1) Identify and evaluate all current transportation services and determine the need for additional transit; (2) Educate the public about the current transportation programs in the region; and (3) Coordinate existing transportation resources in participating communities.  The communities all have transportation resources, but as they are focused on specific geographic areas, they are limited and disjointed.  The proposed funding amount, a reduction of $13,000 from the original request, reflects MassDOT’s belief that certain materials developed by the Acton project could be utilized by this group to plan and develop their program.