Berkshire On-Line Municipal Building Permits
Grant funds allowed the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to work with seven communities to develop an online building permitting system. Funds were utilized to purchase software and field equipment and to implement the program.
Funding Amount: $110,835
Participating entities: Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (Lead); Towns of Becket, Dalton, Monterey, Lee, Lenox, Richmond, and Sheffield
Central Massachusetts Regional Electronic Permitting
This is the first regional e-permitting program proposed for Southern Worcester County, and has an original focus of smaller towns with limited staff capacities and limited funding to adopt, implement, and maintain e-permitting on their own. Funds would provide year 1 start-up costs for the nine participating towns. The program will streamline the permit process for municipal employees to dramatically reduce the time staff send processing permits, getting appropriate sign offs from other departments, tracking permit review and answering questions. Additionally, applicants will have the ability to submit permit applications, pay permit fees, schedule and/or request inspections and conduct other business via the internet.
Funding Amount: $112,000
Participating entities: Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission
(CMRPC) (Lead); Towns of Barre, Blackstone, Boylston, Dudley, Hardwick, Leicester, Northbridge, Spencer, and Upton
Central Massachusetts Regional Electric Permitting Final Report
Cloud-based Open Source Integrated Municipal Financial Management
The Community Software Consortium (CSC) is a nonprofit group established over 20 years ago to assist communities with their financial reporting requirements in the Division of Local Services (DLS)’s Gateway reporting system. Working with the Town of Royalston as the lead, the CSC utilized grant funds to establish cloud-based assessing and tax collecting systems.
Funding Amount: $290,710
Participating entities: Town of Royalston (Lead), and other municipal members of the Community Software Consortium (CSC)
Commonwealth Citizens Connect App Development for Local Governments Across Massachusetts
In 2009, the City of Boston developed a smart phone application to allow residents to report non-emergency issues, such as potholes, to local government. Grant funds were utilized to bring this type of technology to 46 other communities from across the Commonwealth.
Funding Amount: $400,000
Participating entity: City of Boston
Digital Regionalization: Permit, License, and Inspection Automation
The Cape Cod Commission received funding to develop a regional system of online permits. The Commission procured the services of the vendor Acela to establish an automated solution for all permits and licenses issued by each of the participating communities.
Funding Amount: $500,000
Participating entities: Cape Cod Commission (Lead); Towns of Barnstable, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Nantucket, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet, and Yarmouth
This program will establish a cost effective regional information technology infrastructure and will allow three participating entities to convert their current information technology infrastructure to a cloud computing environment and produce a documented implementation structure for additional municipalities. This will be accomplished through a regional planning effort, shared resources, and the utilization of substantial investments made by the Commonwealth, including broadband.
Funding Amount: $80,000
Participating entities: Hampshire Council of Governments (Lead); Towns of Chesterfield and Hadley
Hampshire Council Final Report
Electronic Weights and Measures Inspection
Each year, all towns and cities in the Commonwealth are required to perform inspections of scales and other measurement systems, such as gas pumps. Many smaller communities spend high sums of money on hiring contractors. Four communities will work together to jointly procure and implement an electronic weights and measures inspection program which includes specific software and hardware that would be used by each community, as well as training inspectors and other related staff to use the new software and hardware. Several of the participating communities have a history of municipal collaboration and they are examining additional opportunities to increase operational efficiencies and better service delivery.
Funding Amount: $21,550
Participating entities: Towns of Holliston (Lead), Ashland, Medway, and Millis
Regionally Improving Citizen Access and Service Delivery
Beginning in 2007, the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission formed the Merrimack Valley Mayors and Managers Coalition to collaborate and develop regional solutions with a main objective of helping communities collectively manage common tasks. Around the same time, a group of regional department of public works (DPW) officials identified common needs for improving administrative functions, including workload management, strategic asset management, and citizen response and customer satisfaction. This program will allow the communities to develop a regionalized computer maintenance management system.
Funding Amount: $80,000
Participating entities: Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (Lead); Cities of Amesbury, Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen, and Newburyport; Towns of Andover, North Andover, and Salisbury
Malden 311 and Workers’ Compensation Reentry Program
Funds will be used to obtain and measure data produced by a 311 Call Center. The center will be staffed in a truly innovative fashion, as some of the call center staff will consist of existing administrative employees currently working in different departments, as well as other employees who are presently out of work collecting Workers’ Compensation benefits who are unable to return to work due to disability. It will qualify as “light duty,” enabling their return to work.
Funding Amount: $27,278
Participating entity: City of Malden
Municipal Open Checkbook System
Building on the success of the Commonwealth’s Open Checkbook portal (www.mass.gov/OpenCheckbook), this group of cities developed a platform to increase transparency by providing municipal finance data on municipal websites.
Funding Amount: $120,000
Participating entities: Cities of Woburn (Lead), Chelsea, Chicopee, and Revere; Town of Brookline
Municipal Open Checkbook Final Report