BLANDFORD, Mass. (WWLP) – Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito signed a Community Compact agreement Tuesday with representatives from six communities in the Hilltowns of western Hampden and Hampshire County.
The agreement will help improve services for residents of Blandford, Chester, Huntington, Middlefield, Montgomery, and Russell. Many of these towns are dealing with declining populations.
Under the program, the state will help them regionalize their services- from planning and budgeting, to energy efficency, and infrastructure. Sharing services is expected to help the towns’ overcome tax revenue challenges by combining costs.
Lt. Karyn Polito told 22News the community compact will also put the towns in a better position to apply for state grants.
“These communities get bonus points on the statewide grants that are available, like the infrastructure MassWorks program, and it puts them in a more competitive position to avail themselves of the statewide funds,” Polito said.
The legislature has dedicated $2.6 million in their annual budget to the community compact agreements. Nearly 200 of the state’s 351 cities and towns have signed onto the program.