For Immediate Release - February 07, 2014

Patrick Administration Announces $4 Million In Community Innovation Challenge Grants For Municipalities, Regional School Districts And Planning Agencies Across Massachusetts

BOSTON – Thursday, February 6, 2014 –Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor today announced the 37 projects slated to receive funding from the $4 million Community Innovation Challenge (CIC) grant program.  Now in its third year, the Patrick Administration originally authorized the establishment of the CIC program in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget.  The program incentivizes and supports regionalization and other cost saving initiatives that will change the way local governments do business to maintain service delivery and stretch every tax payer dollar as far as possible.

“The CIC program is a major component of the Patrick Administration’s commitment to provide cities and towns with the tools to effectively manage resources and provide services to their residents,” said Secretary Shor.  “This program provides an opportunity for neighboring communities to build partnerships, share services and use their resources wisely.”

The project recipients represent a range of geographic and economic diversity across the Commonwealth, and include 16 Gateway Cities.  This year, 206 cities and towns, representing 59 percent of all municipalities in the Commonwealth, will participate in CIC projects.  In the three year history of the program, 242 cities and towns, or 69 percent of all cities and towns, have participated in at least one CIC project. 

“Investing in the relationships between local governments, school districts, and regional organizations is fundamental for growth and innovation in our state,” said State Senator Stephen Brewer. “The Community Innovation Challenge grant program has provided millions of dollars to unique projects around the Commonwealth, and I look forward to seeing the positive effects that it will have on the towns and organizations in my district.”

The CIC grant program exemplifies the types of reforms the Patrick Administration has made in challenging fiscal times to make government more effective and efficient. CIC grants provide incentives, such as technical assistance, training, and other one-time or transition costs 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.

“We were seeking a solution that would allow us to provide a quality education to all our students while not overburdening taxpayers,” said Pam Beaudoin, Superintendent of the Machester-Essex Regional School District.  “The CIC program allowed us to develop an in house program for students, realizing a savings of $342,000 in two years while proving a quality education for our students.”

As the most rural county in Massachusetts, the member towns of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments have long recognized the value of sharing services and expenses.   

“CIC grants have been a great and invaluable resource for the expansion of regionalization efforts in Franklin County,” said Linda Dunlavy, the Executive Director of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG).  “CIC funds have enabled us to open a regional dog shelter that serves 14 towns and has housed more than 200 dogs and adopted out 40% since its opening in late 2012. CIC funds have also created a regional health district that brings efficiency, accessibility and professionalism to ten small rural towns. “

In Fiscal Year 2012, the Patrick Administration invested $4 million into 27 unique projects.  The Administration provided an additional $2.25 million in Fiscal Year 2013 to 30 projects. Including the 37 projects receiving funding this year, the Patrick Administration has invested $10.25 million in 95 projects over a three year period.

2014 Community Innovation Challenge Projects

 

EDUCATION

A Collaborative Technology Enhancement Initiative ($158,200)

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

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

Hawlemont Regional School District

School StatNet Continuation and Expansion ($90,000)

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

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

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

Manchester-Essex Regional School District

 

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

Gateway City LED Streetlight Retrofits ($237,000)

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

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

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

Regional Forestry Equipment Cooperative ($193,675)

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

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

Franklin County Solid Waste District

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

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

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

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

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

Town of Natick

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

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

 

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

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

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

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

Town of Amherst (Lead); City of Northampton

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

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

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

Metropolitan Area Planning Council (Lead); City of Boston

Hampshire Cloud ($105,000)

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

Municipal Open Checkbook System ($180,000)

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

Open Checkbook ($4,800)

City of West Springfield

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

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

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

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

Towns of Amherst (Lead), Belchertown, and Pelham

Ensuring Quality Police Data ($80,000)

Cities of Chelsea (Lead), Everett, and Revere

FIRE Response ($79,557)

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

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

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

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

South County Emergency Management Services ($160,620)

Towns of Deerfield (Lead), Sunderland, and Whatley

 

TRANSPORTATION

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

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

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

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

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

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