County Commissioners partner with local communities to secure $96K in state regionalization grants


DEDHAM, MA – Continuing their commitment to support successful, cost-effective regional services across Norfolk County’s 28 communities, the Norfolk County Commissioners proudly announced today their support of two grant awards to promote regionalized services recently awarded by the Baker-Polito administration.

The first grant initiative, led and written by the Norfolk County Commissioners office, was a $46,000 grant awarded to the towns of Avon, Holbrook and Randolph to expand public health nursing services in the three communities. The second grant was a $50,000 regional economic development planning grant awarded to the towns of Dedham, Norwood and Westwood.

Both grant awards were part of $2 million state grant funding awarded earlier this month by the Baker-Polito administration as part of its Community Compact Cabinet Efficiency & Regionalization grant program. The grant program, administered by the Executive Office of Administration and Finance’s Division of Local Services, “provides financial support for governmental entities interested in regionalization and other efficiency initiatives that allow for long-term sustainability”.

“The Norfolk County Commissioners are proud to continue doing whatever we can to prioritize and support regional collaboration between our constituent communities, and we’re grateful for the leadership of the local officials and residents in these communities to make these efforts possible,” said Commissioner Francis O’Brien, Chairman of the Norfolk County Commissioners. O’Brien also noted the County’s ongoing efforts to support municipal collaboration relating to veterans services and having recently brought communities together for the County’s Seminar Series to discuss the implementation of the state’s new recreational marijuana law.

The $46,000 Community Compact grant awarded to Avon, Holbrook and Randolph will bring together the three communities to establish a sustainable shared public health nursing services program with a particular emphasis on helping to combat the opiate epidemic, prioritizing senior wellness initiatives and responding to the influx of tuberculosis cases, among other goals. The program would fund an additional five hours of public health nursing services per week in each community, which would provide the towns with the ability to better-meet the health needs of residents, while decreasing the need for a single community to completely self-fund another position, additional hours, or the benefits and any additional indirect costs on their own.

"I want to thank the County for their leadership on this important initiative. It is providing a valuable public health service to all three communities and their residents,” added Randolph Town Manager David C. Murphy.

The $50,000 regional economic development planning grant awarded to the towns of Dedham, Norwood and Westwood will allow the communities to work together to create a regional economic development plan—especially for the Routes 1 and 1A corridors—that will have collective and individual impacts for each community, their residents, and existing and future businesses.

“The Town of Dedham is fortunate to enjoy an active working relationship with the County, with our State delegation, and with our counterparts in Norwood and Westwood. Collaborations like this benefit everyone involved,” said Dedham Town Manager James A. Kern.

The Norfolk County Commissioners strongly supported the Dedham, Norwood and Westwood grant application and sent a letter last November conveying their support to state officials.

“The Norfolk County Commissioners wholeheartedly embrace the various goals of this grant for Dedham, Norwood and Westwood,” the Commissioners said in the letter. “With Dedham being the seat of Norfolk County—and our offices located right in historic Dedham Square—we very much support the economic strength and vibrancy that exists in each of the three communities, and we are proud of the economic development opportunities that this (grant) presents to the towns and throughout the region as a whole.”