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Efficiency and Regionalization grant program FAQ

Answers to your frequently asked questions about the Efficiency and Regionalization grant program.

Table of Contents

What is the Efficiency and Regionalization Program?

The purpose of the Efficiency and Regionalization (E&R) 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.

Who is eligible?

The E&R 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.

What is the deadline to apply for an Efficiency and Regionalization Program grant?

There will be one competitive application round for this grant program.  The application period will run from January 15, 2019 through February 15, 2019.

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.

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 E&R 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.

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 Community Compact Best Practice program before submitting an Efficiency and Regionalization Program grant application. Note that all municipalities that enter into a Best Practice Compact maintain their “Compact Community” status through FY19.  Cities and towns that entered into Compacts in FY16 or FY17 are eligible to enter into another Compact, but are not required to do so in order to maintain the “Compact Community” status.
  • 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 FY19 Community Compact Best Practices, which are located here.

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.

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.

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.  

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.

By when must projects be completed?

Projects must be completed before or by June 30, 2020.

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.

How do I access the application?

The application can be found here 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 August 15th. 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.

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.

Contact

Phone

Call Sean Cronin: (617) 626-2381

Online

Email Sean Cronin croninse@dor.state.ma.us
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