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Wednesday, March 28 2012

FRCOG Wins 2 Community Innovation Challenge Grants

From a Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) press release:

The Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) was awarded two of the 28 Community Innovation Challenge (CIC) grants recently awarded statewide by the Massachusetts Department of Administration and Finance for municipal regionalization and efficiency projects.  The two funded projects at the FRCOG are for the creation of the Franklin County Cooperative Public Health Service (CPHS) and implementation of the Franklin County Regional Dog Officer Control and Kennel (DOCK) program.

The CPHS received $119,375 for program implementation. The goal of this program is to establish a professional, efficient and sustainable comprehensive health department for towns in Franklin County. “The new shared department is huge leap forward for the participating towns and the FRCOG, and represents the results of over a year of careful planning and hard work on the part of many board of health and select board members,” said Phoebe Walker, FRCOG Director of Community Services, “this grant will allow the Service to provide greatly improved public health protections to residents.” Participating towns include Buckland, Charlemont, Deerfield, Gill, Hawley, and Monroe. A second phase of the project will offer the program to other interested towns in Franklin County and Hampshire County.  The CPHS will be housed at the FRCOG.

The DOCK dog control program received $19,000 to support program start-up and implementation. The program will be run by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. The goal of the program is to provide a professional and efficient regional dog officer and kennel to the towns of Franklin County. Participating municipalities thus far include the City of Greenfield and the towns of Bernardston, Buckland, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Heath, Montague, Warwick and Whately.  According to Ted Harvey, Regional Project Planner at the FRCOG, the FRCOG will act as the fiduciary agent and provide staff support during the startup phase. “These grant funds will provide an important boost to the funds being provided by the Sherriff’s Office and the participating municipalities, and allow us to create a state-of-the-art new regional kennel,” said Harvey.

The CIC Grant program awarded $4 million to 28 projects from a pool of 100 project applications from throughout the state. According to Department of Administration and Finance, the purpose of the grant is to incentivize and support innovative regionalization and other cost saving initiatives that will help local governments increase cost-efficiency while maintaining service delivery.