While they continue to help residents of the state dig out from one of the worse snowstorms to ever hit Massachusetts, members of the Department of Transportation received an official “thank you” from Gov. Deval Patrick for their ongoing efforts.
The MassDOT Storm Desk was manned around the clock during the blizzard and members were responsible for keeping track of equipment used, personnel deployed and snow plow vendors utilized to help clear highways and treat them with special a special coating to prevent further buildup. The HOC also programmed highway message boards to give drivers traffic information.
Though the storm is over, the members of the HOC are continuing to conduct storm recovery duties and coordinate snow removal teams. In addition, the HOC is responding to reports from the general public regarding areas that are in need of critical snow removal. The agency is also working with the State Police and regional fire departments to monitor highway operations.
In other news from the governor’s office, the state has announced a $2.25 million grant program to promote regional government innovation.
The Community Innovation Challenge (CIC) was presented to 27 municipalities, school districts and planning agencies in Massachusetts that encompass 162 cities and towns and a wide range of geographic and income areas.
The grant is designed to promote “innovative regionalization and other cost saving initiatives” that will “stretch every tax payer dollar as far as possible.”
“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 Lieutenant Governor Tim 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.”
The CIC grant provides technical assistance, training and additional funding for community leaders and others to find innovative and efficient methods of delivering critical services. Those programs that earned the grant showed the potential for widest-ranging impact and most substantial cost savings.