About the Efficiency and Regionalization Grant Program

The purpose of the new Efficiency and Regionalization competitive grant program is to provide financial support for governmental entities interested in implementing regionalization and other efficiency initiatives that allow for long-term sustainability. These grants will provide funds for one-time or transition costs for municipalities, regional school districts, school districts considering forming a regional school district or regionalizing services, regional planning agencies and councils of governments interested in such projects.

There were two competitive application rounds for this grant program:

Bonus points will be awarded to any municipality that has chosen to participate in the CCC Best Practice program. Additional bonus points will be awarded if the subject matter of the application falls within any of the FY17 Best Practices. Lastly, if the application is associated with a municipality’s FY16 chosen best practice, bonus points will be awarded.

For any application that involves multiple communities, all involved must have signed up for the CCC Best Practice program in order to qualify for the bonus points. In the case of a regional school district, all member municipalities must have entered into a Compact in order to qualify for the bonus points. For an application submitted by a regional planning agency or council of government, all municipalities associated with the application must have entered into a Compact in order to qualify for the bonus points.

Efficiency and Regionalization Grant Program FAQ

Grant Program FAQs

  1. What is the Efficiency and Regionalization Program?
    The purpose of the new Efficiency and Regionalization competitive grant program is to provide financial support for governmental entities interested in implementing regionalization and other efficiency initiatives that allow for long-term local government sustainability. The grant program will be administered by the Division of Local Services.
  2. Who is eligible?
    The Efficiency and Regionalization Grant Program is open to: municipalities, regional school districts, school districts considering forming a regional school district or regionalizing services, regional planning agencies and councils of governments. Regional planning agencies and councils of governments may also serve as the administrative or fiscal agent on behalf of municipalities.
  1. What is the deadline to apply for an Efficiency and Regionalization Program grant?
    There will be two competitive application rounds for this new $2 million grant program:
    • Round 1 opens October 15, 2016. All applications are due by November 15, 2016 at 5 p.m.  Approximately two-thirds of grant funds will be awarded in this first round.
    • Round 2 opens on January 1, 2017 and will close on February 1, 2017 at 5 p.m.  Any new applicant or any entity that was not awarded a grant in Round 1 can apply for a Round 2 grant. Approximately one-third of grant funds will be awarded in Round 2.
  1. What can grant funds be used for?
    Grant awards will provide one-time funds to assist in the planning and implementation of regionalization and other efficiency initiatives that support long-term municipal sustainability:
    • Regionalization: shared services, joint or regional facilities, intergovernmental agreements, consolidations, mergers and other collaborative efforts.
    • Internal Efficiencies: for a single entity to plan and implement innovative strategies that improve the quality and efficiency of municipal service delivery.

Planning and implementation activities are eligible. Feasibility studies are NOT eligible.

Examples of eligible expenses include:

    • Small capital purchases or improvements that are integral to the implementation of a functional program such as equipment or software;
    • Technical assistance including consulting services, assistance in drafting contracts or other agreements; and
    • Transition or project management costs, not to exceed one year. 

If an applicant seeks to initiate a new program with an Efficiency and Regionalization Program grant, the applicant should be able to show how the new program will be self-sustaining within one year.

Funds cannot be used for grant writing.

  1. How will applications be evaluated?
    The Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance will make final decisions based on the criteria set forth below.

    Criteria for selection will include but not be limited to:
    • Innovation;
    • Potential for impact;
    • Cost savings and/or other tangible benefits such as service enhancements, service delivery efficiencies;
    • Demonstrated feasibility of successful implementation;
    • Speed of project timeline for completion; and
    • Potential applicability to other local governments (including, in the context of regionalization proposals, opportunity for other local governments to join effort).

Bonus Points

Bonus Points will be awarded to:

    • A municipality that applied for the FY16 or FY17 Community Compact Best Practice program before submitting an Efficiency and Regionalization Program grant application.  
    • An application that is specifically associated with a municipality’s best practice(s) agreed to as part of their Community Compact.
    • An application that is aligned with any of the FY17 Community Compact Best Practices, which are located www.mass.gov/CCC

For any application that involves multiple communities, all involved communities must have signed up for the Community Compact Best Practice program in order to qualify for the bonus points.  In the case of a regional school district, all member municipalities must have entered into a Compact in order to qualify for the bonus points. For an application submitted by a regional planning agency or council of government, all municipalities associated with the application must have entered into a Compact in order to qualify for the bonus points.

  1. May an eligible entity apply for more than one grant award?
    Municipalities are eligible to submit one individual application and may participate in one multi-jurisdictional application.  Regional planning agencies and councils of governments can be the lead applicant for more than one multi-jurisdictional application. Non-regional school districts are eligible to apply if considering forming a regional school district or regionalizing services.
  1. What is the maximum grant award?
    Grant requests from a single government entity of up to $100,000 will be considered.  Grant requests from multi-jurisdictional applications of up to $200,000 will be considered.
  1. If an application is awarded a grant, what is the next step?
    Once grant announcements have been made, the Division of Local Services will contact the grant recipient(s) to arrange for the execution of the grant contract. Grant payments will be made in two phases: 75% upon the execution of the grant agreement; 25% upon project completion.
  1. By when must projects be completed?
    Projects awarded in the first round of funding must be completed before or by January 1, 2018. 

    Projects awarded in the second round of funding must be completed before or by May 1, 2018.

    For a project to be considered complete, grantees must submit a final report that certifies the project is complete, identifies the results achieved, and how the entity will benefit from the project in the long-term. Once we receive this documentation then we can award the final grant payment.
  1. How do I access the application?
    The application can be found in the Application tab above once the application period opens.  NOTE: You will need a passcode to fill out the grant application. If your organization is eligible for the Efficiency and Regionalization Program, a passcode was emailed to your organization’s Chief Executive on September 14th. The Chief Executive is the Mayor or City Manager in a City, Town Manager/Administrator in a Town, Selectboard Chair if no Manager/Administrator, Superintendent in a Regional School District and Regular School District, Regional Planning Agency Executive Director, and Council of Governments Executive Director. Please see the designated Chief Executive for your organization before seeking to complete an application on your organization’s behalf.
  1. Where can I find out more information?
    If you have questions not answered above or your organization’s Chief Executive needs assistance with a passcode, please contact the Division of Local Services by sending an email to  Sean Powers at powersse@dor.state.ma.us.

Apply for an Efficiency & Regionalization Grant

Welcome to the Efficiency and Regionalization grant program application page.

There are two competitive application rounds for this new grant program.  Round 1 took place in Fall 2016, and awards were announced December 15, 2016.

Round 2 opened on January 1, 2017, and awards were announced March 10, 2017.

Application Instructions

Please review the application instructions below. You will then be asked to enter your passcode at the bottom of the page to fill out the application.

Step 1 – Eligible entity: Identify as a city, town, regional school district, school district considering forming a regional school district or regionalizing services, regional planning agency, or council of government.

Step 2 – Name of Entity

Step 3 – Contact Information: Include the contact’s name, title, phone number, and email. This should be the person who can be reached if there are questions about your grant application.

Step 4 – Grant Contract Signatory: Identify the person who would sign a grant contract if grant awarded.

Step 5 – Multi-jurisdictional application: Please check this box if this application is for a project with two or more eligible entities seeking to undertake a regionalization/shared services or other efficiency project together.  You will then enter the names of the other participating entities. The participating communities should submit one joint application. The application should be submitted by the entity that will be the project lead.

Step 6 – Grant Amount Requested: Please enter an amount. Grant requests from a single government entity of up to $100,000 will be considered. Grant requests from multi-jurisdictional applications of up to $200,000 will be considered.

Step 7 – Purpose: Describe the proposed project, including purpose of the grant request, project objectives and the challenge(s) this project would address.

Step 8 – Benefits: Identify project benefits including efficiencies, cost savings, enhanced service delivery, and/or improved public access to local government services.

Step 9 – Cost Impact and Sustainability Plan: Identify any new costs that will be incurred and how the costs will be paid for or offset, including ongoing operational costs. If an applicant seeks to initiate a new program with an Efficiency and Regionalization Program grant, the applicant should be able to show how the new program will be self-sustaining within one year. Grant funds cannot be used to sustain a new program’s operations beyond year one.

Step 10 – Measures of Success: What defines success for this project? Describe how the success of the project will be evaluated. Include expected measurable improvements in service delivery or efficiency. 

Step 11 – Project Budget: Provide a detailed and realistic project budget estimate. Include breakdown of amount requested by activity/task.    

Step 12 – Project Timeline: Provide a timeline for the proposed project. Note projects must be completed before or by January 1, 2018.

Step 13 – Submission: Once you have completed the application, please click the submit button. You will not be able to save or review your application once you hit submit. You will receive notice via email confirming your application.

NOTE: You will need a passcode to fill out the form below. If your organization is eligible for the Efficiency and Regionalization Program, a passcode was emailed to your organization’s Chief Executive on September 14th. The Chief Executive is the Mayor or City Manager in a City, Town Manager/Administrator in a Town, Selectboard Chair if no Manager/Administrator, Superintendent in a Regional School District and Regular School District, Regional Planning Agency Executive Director, and Council of Governments Executive Director. Please see the designated Chief Executive for your organization before seeking to complete an application on your organization’s behalf.

If you have questions not answered above or your organization’s Chief Executive needs assistance with a passcode, please contact the Division of Local Services by sending an email to Sean Powers at powersse@dor.state.ma.us.

Round 1 Grant Recipients:

Regionalization and Shared Services

  • Regional Animal Shelter / Animal Control (North Adams, Adams, Williamstown) - $200,000
  • Establish a SPED Collaborative for Northern Berkshire County Districts (North Adams Public Schools, Northern Berkshire School Union, Adams Cheshire Regional School District, Williamstown Public Schools, Lanesboro Public Schools, Mount Greylock Regional School District, Northern Berkshire Regional VocTech) - $148,099
  • MAPC Public Health Collaborative (Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop) - $50,150
  • Regionalize vocational educational services between Medford Public Schools and Everett Public Schools - $45,000
  • MVPC Housing Production Plans (Amesbury, Andover, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen, Newbury, North Andover, Rowley, Salisbury, West Newbury) - $50,000
  • Shared Conservation Agent (Easthampton and Southampton) - $48,300
  • Establish the Pioneer Valley Mosquito Control District (Deerfield, Greenfield, East Longmeadow Montague, Palmer, South Hadley, Southampton) - $35,310
  • Shared Planning Services (Millville and Uxbridge) - $30,000
  • Shared Highway Services (Phillipston and Royalston) - $12,500
  • Regional Dispatch (Dunstable and Groton) - $9,990

Municipal and School Efficiencies

  • Chicopee City/Schools HR and Facilities Management Integration - $60,000
  • Explore Hull Joining South Shore Regional VocTech - $22,700

Environmental

  • Regional Wastewater Management with Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC) (Falmouth, Bourne, Mashpee, Sandwich) - $135,000
  • FRCOG Planning for Climate Resilient Communities in the Deerfield River Watershed (Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Monroe, Rowe, Shelburne) - $131,280
  • PVPC Regional Approach to Wastewater and Stormwater Management for Connecticut River Communities (Agawam, Chicopee, Granby, Hadley, Ludlow, Northampton, Southwick, Springfield, West Springfield) - $111,550
  • MAPC Regional Approach to Stormwater Management (Acton, Bolton, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Stow, Sudbury) - $50,000

Round 2 Grant Recipients

Regionalization / Shared Services

  • Rural Economic Development Planning (Chester, Blandford, Huntington, Middlefield, Montgomery, and Russell) - $100,511
  • Joint Economic Development (Boston, Braintree, Cambridge, Chelsea, Quincy and Somerville) - $100,000
  • Lenox + Lee Shared Town Administrator - $86,000
  • MAPC On-line Permitting Platform and Shared Permit Data Standard (Ayer, Milton, North Reading, Westborough) - $70,619
  • Regional Animal Control (Lunenburg, Townsend) - $42,257
  • BRPC Economic Development Planning Services (Clarksburg, Great Barrington, Hinsdale, and Lanesborough) - $22,735

Municipal / School Shared Services

  • Wareham Town/School HR Functions - $72,499
  • Carver Town/School Facilities Department - $41,500
  • Easthampton City/School IT Department Consolidation - $38,000
  • Southbridge Town/School Facilities Management Team - $35,000
  • Norwell Town Hall / School Administration Building Consolidation - $25,000

School Regionalization

  • Exploration of further consolidation of the Quabbin Regional School District - $100,000
  • Exploration of  further school regionalization (Orange Elementary School District and Petersham Center School District to the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District) - $53,000
  • Exploration of forming a Regionalization School District (Acushnet Public Schools and Fairhaven Public Schools) - $40,000
  • Exploration of further consolidation of the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District - $28,000