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The Patrick-Murray administration yesterday announced the details on a new $4 million grant program designed to assist cities and towns to develop regionalization programs and to encourage efficiency.

The program, called the Community Innovation Challenge (CIC) grant program, was funded in the FY11 supplemental budget signed last month. The announcement includes both guidelines for the CIC grants and an application that is due in the Executive Office for Administration and Finance by Jan. 15, 2012.

The administration noted previous success with regionalization grants for improving public safety communications, with more than $35 million awarded for 36 projects in 248 communities since 2008; as well as federal planning grants awarded to 11 groups of municipalities totaling 113 communities serving 1.8 million residents for the development of regional public health districts.

"Over the years, our administration has worked closely with municipal managers and local planners to provide tools and resources to support cities and towns," said Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray. "By implementing the new CIC grant program, we are taking a major step forward in supporting regional partnerships and helping communities develop cost-saving measures and innovative reforms to maintain the delivery of critical local services and deliver those services effectively and efficiently."

Three information sessions will take place in the next two weeks. The first will be  November 16 at Ashland Town Hall, 101 Main Street, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The second will be November 17 in the Plymouth Public Library, 132 Main Street., from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.; and the third will be November 21 in Greenfield at the GCC Downtown Center, 270 Main St., from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

                                                                                               

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