For Immediate Release - September 10, 2012

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $4 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR NEXT ROUND OF COMMUNITY INNOVATION CHALLENGE GRANTS

Announcement Comes During the Fourth Annual Regionalization Conference in Worcester

WORCESTER – Monday, September 10, 2012 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today announced the second round of Community Innovation Challenge (CIC) grants for Fiscal Year 2013. Building upon the success of the first round of CIC grants, $4 million will be made available to support local government innovations through regional collaborations.

“As a Commonwealth, it is in our shared interest to provide communities with tools and resources to implement or improve regional services,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “Governor Patrick and I are 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 municipal services for our residents.”

The announcement comes as part of the Fourth Annual Regionalization Conference at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. The conference, which is sponsored by the Department of Revenue’s Division of Local Services, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, and the Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies, brings together state and local government officials to share insight and experience on regionalization.

“Our new fiscal reality demands that we invest in and incentivize innovation among local governments to find more efficient ways to deliver core local services,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez. “Regionalization resources and best practices help cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth identify compelling proposals that will cut costs to preserve core services.”

CIC grants will provide financial support for one-time or transition costs related to innovative regionalization and other efficiency initiatives in local governments. By improving the effectiveness of shared programs and services, the Commonwealth is able to spend taxpayer money more efficiently, maximizing the impact of every dollar spent.

During the first grant round, 100 applications were received from cities and towns. In total, the Executive Office for Administration and Finance awarded $4 million in grants to 27 programs throughout Massachusetts for programs including facilities management, public safety, public health, education and the environment. The CIC program second round will be accepting applications starting September 12.

Regionalization efforts have been increasingly critical on 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 regionalization conference, state and local officials are able to build cooperation to implement regional services.

“Over the past four years, these conferences have brought together hundreds of people from across state and local government to find innovative and cost-effective ways to provide fundamental services,” said Deputy Commissioner of Revenue and Director of Municipal Affairs Robert Nunes. “As a result, Massachusetts stands at the forefront of regionalization efforts in the country.”

"Cities and towns across the Commonwealth have struggled the past few years to maintain services and staff due to a decrease in revenues and increase in fixed costs," said Adam Gaudette, Spencer Town Administrator. "This CIC grant award will allow our 13 communities to address EPA mandated storm water management programs that otherwise will not have been implemented and will allow these communities to save on costs."

To date, the CIC grant program involves 138 communities and has impacted over 2.7 million people throughout the Commonwealth.

How to Apply

Applications, information session dates and times, and guidelines will be available the morning of Wednesday, September 12th on the program website: http://www.mass.gov/anf/budget-taxes-and-procurement/working-for-you/community-innovation-challenge-grant/

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