Massachusetts: Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Community Compact Programs and Announces $7 Million in Fiscal Year 2023 Grants

BOSTON — Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito was joined at the State House by municipal leaders from across the Commonwealth to celebrate the success of the Community Compact Cabinet over the last eight years, and to announce 78 new Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) grant awards through two Community Compact programs.

The Community Compact Cabinet was established by the Baker-Polito Administration in January 2015 as one of its first actions after taking office, with the goal of strengthening the state's partnership with cities and towns and to allow the Administration to work more closely with municipal leaders. Led by Lt. Governor Polito, the Cabinet champions municipal interests across all executive secretariats and agencies, and develops, in consultation with cities and towns, mutual standards and best practices for both the state and municipalities.

"The Community Compact Cabinet, let by Lieutenant Governor Polito, has been a cornerstone of our Administration's efforts to forge a stronger partnership between the state and local governments," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Through its efforts, the Community Compact Program has successfully institutionalized a culture of collaboration, mutual accountability and support that will serve the Commonwealth's communities and residents well going forward and make Massachusetts a better place to live and work."

"It has been a privilege to serve as Chair of the Community Compact Cabinet and to work alongside so many dedicated municipal officials across the Commonwealth to create a sustainable and effective model for state-local collaboration," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "Through the Community Compact programs, we are proud to have supported over 1,400 initiatives to improve local services and infrastructure across all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns. I am pleased to announce 78 new grant awards today, which will support technology and efficiency projects that will benefit residents in more than 150 communities."

"This grant cycle includes a number of important technology and cybersecurity project proposals at the municipal level that will improve digital services offerings to constituents and strengthen municipal cybersecurity defenses against potential threats," said Secretary of Technology Services and Security Curt Wood. "I thank our partners in municipal government for their continued leadership on technology modernization and cybersecurity enhancements throughout the Commonwealth."

Over the last eight years, the Community Compact Cabinet has increasingly supported local communities through programs that have enabled more than 1,400 municipal initiatives across all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns. The initiatives have enabled the implementation of best practices, strengthened and modernized local infrastructure, streamlined operations, and improved the efficiency and quality of program and service delivery for residents.

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Including the awards announced today, a total of $64.7 million has been provided across four Community Compact grant programs:
  • The Best Practices program is based on voluntary, mutual Community Compact agreements that individual cities and towns have entered into with the Commonwealth. In a Community Compact, a municipality agrees to implement at least one government best practice based on its unique needs and areas for improvement, such as best practices related to financial management, housing, public accessibility, or public health. To date, 868 grants for a total of $18.4 million have been distributed through this program to support the adoption of 1,300 best practices in municipalities.
  • The Information Technology (IT) grant program focuses on driving innovation and transformation at the local level via investments in technology. Over $24 million has been distributed through 425 grants, supporting nearly 300 municipalities and school districts in efforts to modernize and improve local technology infrastructure and software.
  • The Efficiency and Regionalization grant program helps municipalities provide services to their constituents in a more efficient and cost-effective way. Funds are used for the planning and implementation of regionalization initiatives (such as shared services) and for efficiency efforts to improve local service delivery. Since being launched in Fiscal Year 2017, a total of $9.1 million has been provided through 103 grants that have supported 287 municipalities and school districts.
  • The Municipal Fiber grant program was established in the Fiscal Year 2022 Capital Investment Plan to help municipalities undertake fiber network-related technology infrastructure initiatives that will improve the functioning of local government and enable long-term cost savings. In the first round of grant funding announced in June, 71 grants totaling $13 million were awarded, which will benefit 86 municipalities. The next round of Municipal Fiber grants will be announced in the first half of 2023.

At today's event, the Lieutenant Governor announced the Fiscal Year 2023 award winners of the IT grant and Efficiency and Regionalization grant programs. A total of $5 million in IT grants were awarded to support technology-focused initiatives across 61 municipalities, and 17 Efficiency and Regionalization grants distributing a total of $2 million were awarded for regionalization efforts across 102 municipalities.

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"Since coming into office, the Baker-Polito Administration has prioritized the needs of Massachusetts cities and towns throughout budget development processes, resulting in more than $64 million in high-value local investments through Community Compact programs," said Secretary of Administration and Finance Michael J. Heffernan. "Thank you to all the dedicated community leaders that have engaged with these programs to improve the efficiency and quality of services for their communities, and congratulations to the award winners announced today."

The awards announced today include:

Information Technology grants
  • Stoughton ($200,000), Foxborough ($198,960), Wellfleet ($190,708) and Southbridge ($143,360) for the implementation of e-permitting systems, which will improve efficiencies and enhance the ability of residents and businesses to transact and interact with town departments;
  • Methuen ($200,000), Sheffield ($200,000), Watertown ($190,300), Newton ($140,000) and Paxton ($115,000) for the implementation of records management systems, which will enable more effective management of records, reduce record-keeping redundancies, reduce storage costs, and increase usable office space through the elimination of unnecessary files;
  • Berkley ($173,349), Dedham ($139,398) and Chicopee ($133,391) for disaster recovery/cybersecurity enhancements;
  • Rowe ($133,400), Goshen ($86,047) and Warren ($65,000) for the implementation of financial management systems;
  • $200,000 for a surveillance system for the city of Taunton's water department assets to enhance the city's ability to quickly detect and respond to water quality issues;
  • $196,495 for Hanover to purchase and install a multi-site Ultra High Frequency digital radio system for the town's schools, which will improve the communication capabilities and enhance the safety and security of public schools within the community;
  • $23,791 for New Marlborough to purchase and implement management software; and
  • $75,000 for Sandisfield to implement a centralized and web-based security system for a number of municipal buildings

For a full list of Information Technology grant awardees and projects, click here.

Efficiency and Regionalization grants
  • $200,000 for the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to modernize a regional e-permitting system for 23 towns;
  • $178,123 for Blandford and Chester to share Water Operators;
  • $155,000 to complete the final design of a sanitary sewer connection between the towns of Amherst and Hadley;
  • $147,855 for the Franklin Regional Council of Governments for the development and implementation of an enhanced regional emergency preparation system for the 26 towns of Franklin County;
  • $100,000 for an electric vehicle (EV) charging station plan across Revere, Winthrop, and Chelsea; and
  • $75,000 for regional Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) management for the Merrimack River, which will benefit 18 municipalities in the Merrimack Valley.

For a full list of Efficiency and Regionalization grants, click here.

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