Daily News

State Unveils One-stop Web Portal for Municipal Grants

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration has unveiled a new web portal for cities and towns to easily identify grant opportunities that could benefit their communities. The Municipal Grant Finder (mass.gov/municipalgrants) is a one-stop web shop for local officials and residents to learn about grant opportunities across state government, regardless of which state agency manages a grant program.

“Through the new Municipal Grant Finder, the Patrick administration is continuing its commitment to provide resources to help our municipal partners deliver core services to their communities,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor.

The web portal will highlight what resources exist and where to find them, as management of these grants and resources is decentralized among a multitude of state government agencies. The Municipal Grant Finder will help them navigate state government by succinctly profiling more than 60 funding and support opportunities for cities and towns. To use the Municipal Grant Finder, a local official simply selects the appropriate category and is presented with a list of available resources. The user is then connected to detailed information about the grant, the available funding, how to apply, and contact information.

Local officials no longer need to know which of the Commonwealth’s many state agencies manage a specific grant program. With a few clicks, the Municipal Grant Finder can help a local official identify training to enhance local public-safety responses to complex emergencies; resources to rehabilitate abandoned and vacant property in a community; funding to reduce the municipal solid waste and household hazardous waste in the general waste-disposal stream; a program to support residents transitioning from renting to purchasing a home for the first time; funding for renovations to a local library; financial support to mitigate the cost of adding a local transit station; and a grant to convert an old railway line to a scenic recreation trail.

Working together, the Patrick administration and the Commonwealth’s municipalities have already achieved real, meaningful savings and structural changes to keep costs down so municipalities can make the necessary investments in community services that keep them thriving. Municipal healthcare reform is providing significant and immediate savings to cities and towns, and 257 communities and school districts across Massachusetts have already collectively saved more than $247 million in health-insurance premiums over the past three years as a result of the landmark municipal healthcare reform law signed by Patrick in July 2011.

Including municipal healthcare reform, Patrick said, his administration has provided cities and towns with the tools to realize $3.78 billion in savings, revenue, and investments through new local-option taxes, increased capital investments, and pension reforms. Communities are also achieving savings through innovations achieved through the Community Innovation Challenge Grant and municipal performance-management programs.