January 20th Information &
Resource Update
Legislative Update: Governor's Action on Transportation Bond Bill

At the end of its previous session, the state Legislature advanced a number of major initiatives to the Governor's desk; the Partnership included summaries in our January 7th newsletter (which can be accessed at this link). The Governor has now acted on each of the bills summarized; the Governor's actions on the Economic Development Bill and the Climate Change Legislation were themselves summarized in our January 15th newsletter. The Governor has since acted on the Transportation Bond Bill.

Transportation Bond Bill: Signed, Portions Vetoed. The Governor has signed into law the majority of the Transportation Bond Bill. However, the Governor vetoed specific provisions including:

  • Sections 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 20, and 47, which would have increased the existing fees on Transportation Network Company (TNC) rides.

  • Section 27, which would have established that all proceeds of the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) be deposited into the Commonwealth Transportation Fund.

  • Sections 30 and 31, which would have created a low-income fare program for the MBTA.

  • Section 46, which would have created a Roadway and Congestion Pricing Commission.

  • Item 6720-2127, which would have placed conditions on funding provided for the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project. This item would have required a congestion mitigation plan be developed in a process that would have included at least 3 public forums to seek input from community members along the Framingham/ Worcester Commuter Rail line, as well as input from stakeholder groups including the 495/MetroWest Partnership. This section would have also forbidden an increase in tolls on I-90 to support or help finance the project.

I-90 Bridge Replacement Project: Virtual Public Meeting

MassDOT will replace eight bridges on I-90 east and westbound over Flanders Road in Westborough and Parkerville Road, Cordaville Road, and Woodland Road in Southborough over eight weekends in summer 2021.

MassDOT will host a virtual public meeting which will provide information about the replacement of the bridges (two bridges per local road). The meeting will be held online, via Zoom, on Tuesday, February 9th at 6:00 PM.

Webinar ID: 884 2354 2199
Or join via telephone: 929-205-6099
Password: 508076

To minimize disruptions, MassDOT will use a rapid bridge replacement approach to replace eight bridges over eight weekends. This approach reduces the project duration from a potential of three years with traditional construction methods to just over one year. In advance of the eight weekends, preparatory work will be performed on I-90 and on the local streets.

Click here for more information about the project. Questions about the work or issues related to the work may be directed to A8@dot.state.ma.us.
Mass. Clean Energy Center's IncubateMass Program:
FY21 Applications Now Open

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's IncubateMass program application period for FY21 is now open. This program provides funding to Massachusetts incubators with the goal of growing the clean energy innovation ecosystem and commercializing cleantech startups through incubator membership.  

This funding supports incubator activities, including but not limited to operations and management expenses, facilities and infrastructure build-outs, equipment purchases, networking events and workshops, growing strategic clusters, and professional development of incubator staff, among others as needed by incubator demand.

Grants are up to $175,000 per year and award payments are typically tied to incubator management deliverables and startup member milestones.

Applicants must:
  • Be Incubators (as defined in the RFP) capable of providing business incubation services to Cleantech Startups at a location within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Have startups that satisfy the definition of Cleantech Startups, as defined in the RFP
  • Have experienced management teams, a documented track record of providing effective services to Cleantech Startups and a sustainable Incubator model backed by a credible business plan
Applicants are not required to exclusively host Cleantech Startups in their Incubators, but the Incubator must have a partial clean energy focus to its operations and clientele. Applicants are encouraged to tailor their funding request to the needs of their regional economy, and should have a track record of providing effective services to Cleantech Startups (i.e. technology development, fundraising and grant writing, and customer acquisition).  

Save the Date: Municipal Government Response
to COVID-19 in 495/MetroWest Panel Discussion

The Energy and Sustainable Development Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership invites you to a special forum as part of its series on the impact of COVID-19 on our region, Municipal Government Response to COVID-19 in 495/MetroWest. This panel discussion will focus on how municipal governments across our region have responded to the pandemic.

Our panel of municipal leaders from across our service region will address topics that include COVID protocols put in place in their municipal operations, CARES funding allocations, permitting, efforts to support the local business community, working remotely while serving the public, and next steps with vaccination now in sight. Our panel is currently in formation; panelists will be announced in the coming weeks. Attendees will have an opportunity to submit questions for panelists to address.  

This event will take place remotely via Zoom on Tuesday, February 9th at 8:30 AM; click here to register. The event is open to all interested persons, though registration is required.

The 495/MetroWest Partnership's Energy and Sustainable Development Committee focuses on issues related to land use, energy, brownfields remediation, low-impact development, broadband connectivity, placemaking, and environmental stewardship. Committee meetings and events are open to all interested participants.
Your Assistance Requested: Photos of Our Region!

In the coming months, the 495/MetroWest Partnership will be re-launching our organization's website. As part of that process, we are collecting photographs of landmarks, including natural resources, from across our region!

We are putting out a request for photographs of historic buildings, public spaces and facilities, trails, bodies of water and other open spaces, or other notable landmarks from any of the 36 municipalities in our service area. These photos may be selected for use on our revamped website, as well as in other Partnership collateral. Requirements:
  • Photos must depict locations within one of our 36 cities and towns
  • We are seeking larger photos, of at least 980px by 300px (larger photos welcome!)
  • You or your organization must be the owner of the photograph, and have the authority to authorize its use by a third party

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you:
Jason Palitsch, Executive Director
(774) 760-0495 x105

Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthening our region.