Events & Updates - Representative Joe McGonagle

MassDEP Funding Opportunity: Sewage Notification Assistance Grant Program

Below and on MassDEP’s website, please find information on the upcoming application round under the Sewage Notification Assistance Grant Program. These grants assist regional and municipal wastewater utilities and systems in meeting the Department’s regulatory requirements for public notification of discharges of wastewater, including Combined Sewer Overflows and Sanitary Sewer Overflows.

 

Additional details on eligible applicants and projects, goals of the grant program, and application deadlines can be found in the Notice of Grant Opportunity and the Grant Opportunity Summary.

A virtual bidders conference will be held at 1:00 PM on October 11, 2023. Interested applicants should register for the conference by emailing [email protected] with the subject line “FY2024 Sewage Notification Assistance Grant Bidders’ Conference Details.” Grant applications are due to MassDEP by November 10, 2023

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COVID-19 Refreshers & Updates

As more people become infected again with COVID-19, there continues to be some confusion regarding prevention and how the CDC guidelines should be used to protect yourself and others. We have received numerous inquiries regarding these guidelines and the best practices to stay healthy, maintain spread, and protect public health. Amid rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, I want to update you on where we are on COVID-19, provide you with helpful information on COVID-19 preventive measures and mitigation, and address concerns regarding misinformation on CDC guidelines. 

 

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National Grid Launches 500,000 Small Business Impact initiative to Empower Diverse Business Across Ma


Biden Administration Funds More Free COVID Tests

The Biden administration has announced a $600 million funding initiative to produce new at-home COVID-19 tests and is relaunching a website for Americans to order up to four free tests per household in anticipation of a potential increase in COVID cases during the fall and winter months. These tests are designed to detect the most common COVID variants circulating and should be used by the end of this year. At-home testing is essential to slow the spread of the virus and reduce the number of new cases across the Commonwealth as the weather gets colder and more events move indoors, increasing the risk of transmission. Starting Monday, September 25, people can place orders at COVIDTests.gov


MCC Launching FY24 STARS Residencies Programs

MCC is launching the FY24 STARS Residencies program. STARS Residencies support residencies that bring students and teachers together with practicing artists, scientists, and humanists to create rich cultural experiences. Any Massachusetts school serving grades K-12, independent teaching artists/scientists/humanists, and non-profit organizations may apply. To learn more about the program, see the MCC website linked here. Applications are due by October 24th.

 

FY24 STARS Residencies Program – Grants ranging from $2,500 - $6,100

Application opens: Sept. 21, 2023

Info sessions: Sept. 29, Oct. 5, and Oct. 13, 2023

Application deadline: Oct. 24, 2023 11:59pm (ET)


National Grid Announces Winter Season Rates for Customers

A message from National Grid:

Yesterday we announced our winter heating season rates for National Grid electric and gas customers in Massachusetts, effective November 1. As proposed, overall monthly electric bills are expected to be 27 percent lower than a year ago, driven by winter electricity supply costs 46 percent lower than the 2022-23 winter heating season.  In total, the monthly bill of a typical residential electric customer using 600 kWh will decrease from $293 during the 2022-23 winter heating season to approximately $213 during the 2023-24 season.  The change in electricity supply costs is partly due to stabilizing global energy markets as well as a recent decision by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities that shifted our procurement schedule, allowing for more stable rate fluctuations throughout the year. National Grid advocated for this change, and we’re hopeful this will reduce price volatility for our customers going forward.

 

For gas customers, National Grid has pending proposals with the Department of Public Utilities which, if approved, would result in a monthly winter bill for an average Boston Gas residential heating customer using 111 therms per month of $263, an increase of $8, or 3 percent, compared to rates last winter. While a decrease in electric rates from last year is welcome news, we’re conscious that many of our customers still struggle to pay their bills.

 

With that in mind, we will continue our Customer Energy Savings Initiative to provide ongoing assistance this winter, hosting in-person Customer Energy Assistance events across Massachusetts. Customers can meet directly with National Grid representatives and our energy assistance partners at these community-based events to get the help they need, take action to control their energy costs, and enroll in available financial assistance and related programs that can provide support this winter. 

 

Through the Customer Energy Savings Initiative, over the past 12 months National Grid has

  • Facilitated more than $43 million in HEAP funding to help Massachusetts customers supplement energy bills over the last 12 months,
  • Helped more than 25,000 customers sign up for Balanced/Budget Billing, and
  • Has more than 255,000 customers enrolled in National Grid's discount rate, with participating income-eligible electric customers receiving a 32% discount. 

For upcoming dates and times, please visit ngrid.com/heretohelp. National Grid will remain dedicated to doing all that we can to control our operational costs to offset future delivery side bill impacts.  We will continue to make decisions and prioritize programs to help our customers in the coming years.


MBTA October Service Changes

The MBTA today announced service changes in October on the Red, Orange, Green, Mattapan, Kingston, Middleborough, Greenbush, and Haverhill lines. The MBTA will continue working to improve service reliability across the system.

 

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EOPSS OGR Funding Opportunities

The EOPSS Office of Grants and Research (OGR) is pleased to make available several funding opportunities for local municipalities/police departments and nonprofits to competitively solicit funding to address security protection, prevention, intervention, and suppression programming needs.

 

Listed and detailed below are current funding opportunities available with the appropriate deadlines and links for more information.

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MassDOT Sumner Tunnel Weekend Closures to Resume Friday Night Sept.15th

We are reaching out to remind you the Sumner Tunnel restoration project moves into its next phase with weekend closures resuming Friday night, September 15. The tunnel will be closed at approximately 11 p.m. Friday night and will reopen to traffic no later than 5 a.m. Monday, September 18.

 

This is the first of eight planned weekend closures for the remainder of 2023. Closures have also been scheduled for the following weekends: September 22, September 29, October 20, October 27, November 3, and November 10. The date for the 8th planned closure hasn’t yet been determined.

 

These closures are the next phase of a project that began in April of 2022 and will continue to work on the tunnel ceiling, roadway, walls, lighting, and additional improvements which will increase safety and climate resiliency.

Additional information can be found on mass.gov/sumner-tunnel.


Joint Committee for Children's Health Care in Everett

Great to meet the Joint Committee for Children's Health Care in Everett Executive Director Elvira Pinjic and her team yesterday! 

I look forward to working with you all for the youth of the community. 

You can locate JCCHCE at Everett City Hall 484 Broadway; ROOM 2 Lower Level.

or visit their website https://jcchce.org/

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