For Immediate Release - September 10, 2013

Patrick Administration Announces $4 Million In Funding For Third Round Of Community Innovation Challenge Grants

Grant Funding Promotes Regionalization and Efficiency Initiatives Across the Commonwealth

BOSTON – (Tuesday, September 10, 2013) – Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor today announced the third round of Community Innovation Challenge (CIC) grants at the September meeting of the Local Government Advisory Commission. Building on two successful rounds of CIC grant funding, this round of grants totaling $4 million will help support local government regionalization projects and other initiatives designed to deliver local services more effectively and efficiently.

“As a Commonwealth, it is in our shared interest to provide communities with tools and resources to enhance local government services,” said Secretary Shor. “Governor Patrick is committed to working with cities and towns as well as our partners in the state legislature to increase local cooperation and make government at all levels more efficient and effective in the delivery of services for our residents.”

CIC grants provide financial support for one-time or transition costs related to innovative regionalization and other efficiency initiatives in local governments. Since 2012, the Patrick Administration has provided $6.25 million to fund 49 unique projects involving 197 cities and towns across the Commonwealth. These projects include facilities management, public safety, public health, education, environmental protection, financial services, information technology, public works, transportation, library services, veterans’ services, and housing. Examples of successful programs to date include:

  1. The Manchester-Essex Regional School District received funding to develop an in-district program for upper elementary school students with dyslexia.  In the first year of the program, the District saved an estimated $165,000.
  2. The City of Boston received a grant to expand their Commonwealth Connect App to 53 other municipalities. Commonwealth Connect is a smart phone app that encourages civic engagement by allowing residents to interact with municipal governments by reporting issues such as potholes and down street signs.  The program also allows municipalities to track how quickly they respond to citizen requests.
  3. The Franklin Regional Council of Governments received a $19,900 grant to work with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office to develop a regional dog officer and kennel program that serves 10 municipalities.  In the first seven months of the kennel’s operation, 90 dogs were kenneled, 23 were adopted, and the kennel raised $5,000 in donations.

Regionalization and other efforts to streamline government services have been increasingly important at the local level. Providing municipalities with the resources to collaborate on shared initiatives allows for reduced costs, improved services and increased efficiency. Through programs like the CIC grants and the 5th Annual Regionalization Conference, state and local officials are better able to build consensus and increase cooperation necessary to implement regional services. By improving the effectiveness of shared programs and services, the Patrick Administration is able to assist municipalities in maximizing the impact of every dollar spent.

The CIC program will be accepting applications for the third of grants round starting on September 10th. Applications are due on Friday, November 22, 2013. Grant guidelines, the application and a list of information sessions are available on the program’s website: http://www.mass.gov/ANF/CIC

 

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