Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3 Million in Community Compact IT Grants to 44 Cities and Towns

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3 Million in Community Compact IT Grants to 44 Cities and Towns

COHASSET  Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito today announced $3 million in technology grants to 44 cities and towns across the Commonwealth through the Community Compact Information Technology (IT) Grant Program. Today’s announcement will benefit more than 49 municipal entities and brings the total number of municipal IT grants issued over the past four years to 188, assisting 250 communities with $9 million in grant funding to modernize their technology systems and deliver service to their residents more efficiently.

Lt. Governor Polito made the announcement while visiting the Cohasset Middle/High School. Cohasset will receive a $50,000 grant to develop a new Student Information System (SIS), allowing the school district to coordinate and communicate key student and school-level data in real-time, to inform decision-makers and also meet data reporting mandates. The updated system will be more efficient and provide forecasting tools that are currently unavailable.

“The Community Compact Cabinet continues to engage in important work to strengthen our role as a reliable partner for the Commonwealth’s cities and towns,” said Governor Baker. “Technology is a necessary but costly investment for our communities, and these grants enable them to take on critical projects that improve efficiency and help them deliver better service to the public.”

“Community Compact IT grants are a valuable way for the Community Compact program to provide access to resources for major technological projects that might otherwise be unaffordable,” said Lt. Governor Polito, Chair of the Community Compact Cabinet. “A great example is Cohasset’s plan to upgrade its Student Information System for greater productivity and the sophisticated tools that a school district requires to help meet its administrative obligations and its students’ educational needs.”

Cities and towns have used the IT grant funding to upgrade their websites, implement new systems that allow residents to apply for permits and licenses online, improve the security and capacity of municipal IT systems, digitize records and develop other solutions to costly technological challenges.

In addition to the IT grants, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded $7.3 million in technical assistance grants and $4 million in efficiency and regionalization grants since starting the Community Compact Program in 2015.

“The Baker-Polito administration is proud to partner with cities and towns to maximize available resources and improve the customer experience,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. “The Administration’s capital plan funds this important grant program, empowering communities both large and small to make critical technology infrastructure investments.”

Examples of Community Compact IT Grant Program Initiatives in this round of funding:

  • Bedford will receive a $37,700 grant for new software to make the municipal permitting process more efficient, improve record-keeping, and enhance communication among municipal departments and with permit applicants
  • Hadley will receive a $19,350 grant to consolidate its billing platforms for property, tax, sewer, water, motor vehicle excise, and boat excise billing and collections
  • Lancaster will receive a $135,020 grant to extend its high-speed fiber network to additional municipal buildings
  • Monterey will receive a $9,840 grant to allow residents and contractors to pay for services at the town transfer station and Board of Health using a credit card
  • New Bedford will receive $80,000 to construct disaster recovery technology infrastructure and integrate the city’s operation with the school and police departments
  • Pittsfield will receive $95,000 to develop a state-of-the-art, secure wireless access system within multiple city buildings that will provide wireless Internet access to both city employees and the public
  • Salem will receive a $150,000 grant to digitize public records
  • Whitman will receive $199,601 to enhance radio communication for its police and fire departments

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

About the Community Compact Cabinet:

Formed in January 2015, the Community Compact Cabinet is chaired by Lt. Governor Polito and is composed of the secretaries of Housing & Economic Development, Education, Transportation, Energy & Environmental Affairs, and Technology Services and Security, and the Senior Deputy Commissioner of Local Services and the Assistant Secretary of Operational Services. 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.

On May 3, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito participated in the signings of the 350th and 351st Community Compacts, ensuring every city and town in the Commonwealth will enjoy the benefits of the partnership.

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