BOSTON, Mass. /Massachusetts Newswire/ — This past week, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded over $850,000 in Community Compact Cabinet grants to 38 municipalities and 8 school districts across the Commonwealth. These grants will assist municipalities in exploring and implementing efficiency and regionalization initiatives. In December, the administration awarded more than $1 million to over 70 municipalities during the first round of Community Compact Cabinet’s efficiency and regionalization grants.

Gov. Charlie Baker
“Our administration formed the Community Compact Cabinet, led by Lieutenant Governor Polito, to solidify state government’s role as a reliable partner for cities and towns,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud to announce the second round of grants to help cities, towns, and school districts from across the Commonwealth work together on improving their regionalization and efficiency efforts to better serve their residents.”

“We are pleased to continue supporting our municipalities through this effective grant program,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Chair of the Community Compact Cabinet. “As former local officials, Governor Baker and I understand the importance of maintaining strong relationships with our 351 cities and towns and we believe these grants will increase efficiencies and maximize taxpayer dollars to make every corner of the Commonwealth a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

“Supporting our cities and towns and giving them the tools to best deliver services has been a priority since the administration has taken office,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore. “The $2 million in regionalization and efficiency grants awarded over the last four months will help the Commonwealth’s cities and towns better serve their communities in a more efficient way, and I am pleased that we once again are able to provide this important funding.”

The Community Compact Cabinet’s Efficiency & Regionalization grant program is a new initiative for Fiscal Year 2017 that provides financial support for governmental entities interested in implementing regionalization and other efficiency initiatives that allow for long-term sustainability. The 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.

The Governor’s FY18 budget proposal filed in January, 2017 includes $2 million for the Community Compact Best Practices program and $2 million to continue supporting these thoughtful efficiency and regionalization grants. Also previously announced, the Governor’s third capital budget, released this upcoming spring, will provide another $2 million for the Community Compact IT Grant program.

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
Shared Town Administrator (Lenox and Lee) – $86,000
Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) On-line Permitting Platform and Shared Permit Data Standard (Ayer, Milton, North Reading, Westborough) – $70,619
Regional Animal Control (Fitchburg, Lunenburg, Townsend) – $42,257
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) Economic Development Planning Services (Clarksburg, Great Barrington, Hinsdale, and Lanesborough) – $22,735
Municipal / School Shared Services

Wareham Town and School HR Functions – $72,499
Carver Town and School Facilities Department – $41,500
Easthampton City and School IT Department Consolidation – $38,000
Southbridge Town and School Facilities Management Team – $35,000
Norwell Town Hall and 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
About the Community Compact Cabinet:

Formed in January 2015, the Community Compact Cabinet is chaired by Lt. Governor Polito and comprised of the secretaries of Housing & Economic Development, Education, Transportation, and Energy & Environmental Affairs, the Senior Deputy Commissioner of Local Services, the Assistant Secretary of Operational Services, and the Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth. The Community Compact Cabinet elevates the Administration’s partnerships with cities and towns, and allows the Governor’s Office to work more closely with leaders from all municipalities. 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 creation of Community Compacts creates clear standards, expectations and accountability for both partners.

As of March 10, 2017, 266 compacts have been signed.