The Patrick Administration developed the Community Innovation Challenge (CIC) grant program in 2012. The program encourages and incentivizes regionalization based upon the belief that the most crucial and visible interactions between government and citizens occur locally. In three years, the program invested $10.25 million in 74 unique projects that involve 242 municipalities across the Commonwealth. This equates to 69% of the 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. Over 3.9 million, or 59%, of the Commonwealth’s population live in municipalities involved in at least one CIC project.
“Our new fiscal reality demands that government change the way it does business to stretch every taxpayer dollar as far as possible,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor. “The Patrick Administration’s CIC grant program is just one of the many ways we are working to give cities and towns the tools they need to drive change in local government.”
Regionalization is an opportunity for neighboring communities to build partnerships to engage in shared services, inter-municipal agreements, municipal collaborations, consolidations, mutual aid, and regional planning to reduce the risk of duplicating efforts and unnecessary spending of limited taxpayer dollars. With 351 cities and towns spanning the Commonwealth, there are countless ways to collaborate and work together to maintain important local services and deliver those services effectively and efficiently.
The CIC grant program is one more example of the kind of reforms the Patrick Administration has made in challenging fiscal times to make government more effective and efficient. The CIC grant program provides incentives, such as technical assistance, training, and other tone-time or transition funding for municipal leaders to work together to pursue innovative ways to deliver critical services to taxpayers more efficiently. Ideal projects for the grant program include those with the potential for greatest impact, high levels of innovation and substantial potential cost savings for municipalities.