Shrewsbury Receives Community Innovation Challenge Funds

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Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray announces the winners of Community Innovation Challenge grants.
Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray announces the winners of Community Innovation Challenge grants. Photo Credit: Jennifer Lord Paluzzi (file photo)

BOSTON, Mass. — Several Central Massachusetts towns are among the recipients of $2.25 million in Community Innovation Challenge grants that support regionalization and other cost-saving initiatives.

Locally, the towns of Auburn, Leicester, Millbury, Grafton, Northbridge, Northborough, Shrewsbury, Upton and Westborough will be receiving funds to regionalize municipal storm water management. The towns of Leicester, Northbridge and Upton will receive funds for a Central Massachusetts regional electronic permitting collaborative.

The 27 recipients of the 2013 CIC grant program span 162 cities and towns.

“The first round of the Community Innovation Challenge Grant program was a success, attracting wide interest by municipalities and planning agencies to develop regionalization and innovation strategies on the local level,” said Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray. “We’re excited to continue this program with the second round of award recipients who have all proposed more innovative opportunities and cost-saving measures to collaborate, regionalize and maintain valuable local services.”

Regionalization is an opportunity for neighboring communities to build partnerships to engage in shared services, inter-municipal agreements, municipal collaborations, consolidations, mutual aid and regional planning to reduce the risk of duplicating efforts and unnecessary spending of limited taxpayer dollars. 

“Our new fiscal reality demands that government change the way it does business to stretch every taxpayer dollar as far as possible,” Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor said in a statement. “The Patrick-Murray Administration’s CIC grant program is just one of the many ways we are working to give cities and towns the tools they need to drive change in local government.”

The local grants include:

• Regionalizing Municipal Storm Water Management in Central Massachusetts, a grant of $115,000 for a project submitted by Spencer, Auburn, Charlton, Dudley, Holden, Leicester, Millbury, Oxford, Paxton, Shrewsbury, Spencer, Sturbridge, Webster, West Boylston, Boylston, Grafton, Hardwick, Monson, New Braintree, Northbridge, Northborough, North Brookfield, Palmer, Princeton, Rutland, Southbridge, Sterling, Upton, Ware, Westborough and Wilbraham.

• A Central Mass. Regional Electronic Permitting Collaborative, a grant of  $112,000 submitted by the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission and including the towns of Barre, Blackstone, Boylston, Dudley, Hardwick, Leicester, Northbridge, Spencer and Upton.

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Interesting!
If all towns were getting an equal share of each program then Northbridge (Plus 8 other towns) would get $3,382.35 for the storm water grant and then $12,444.44 for the electronic permitting grant, a total of $15,826.79. This would be a little more than 1/3 of the grant for the restoration of the windows for the Town Hall. That would also reflect a $41.75 per mile of town road storm water control.
How are these grant to be used? This is what is not clear?

What a brilliant way to force regionalization, just buy off the towns. I wonder if this will be used on local housing commissions and police dispatch.