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Nashoba Valley Regional Dispatch District Formed, Receives $890,000 Grant for Regional Emergency Communications Center

October 12, 2011

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077

Four north-central Massachusetts communities – Devens, Harvard, Lancaster, and Lunenburg – have agreed to establish, operate, and maintain a consolidated emergency services communications and dispatch system. The system will serve these communities, operating as the Nashoba Valley Regional Dispatch District. The facility will be in Devens, and each community expects to save about $100,000 annually by consolidating these services.

The District applied for a FY2012 State 911 development grant, The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and State 911 Board awarded the District $890,805 to build and equip the dispatch center. The 911 Department’s development grant program is designed to support the development and startup of regional Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPS) and Regional Emergency Communication Centers (RECC). Construction on the facility is expected to start in spring or summer 2012 with an anticipated opening a year later.

Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, who chaired the Regionalization Advisory Commission in 2010, is leading a series of regionalization forums during October. “As we work with cities and towns, we continue to make great strides in building regional partnerships and sharing local services,” said Lt. Governor Murray. “With the leadership of local officials, and the incentive from the state’s 911 Department’s grant program, these participating Nashoba Valley communities are working together to improve the quality of public safety for their residents and the region.” The Lt. Governor will be joined by the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Municipal Affairs Coordinating Cabinet for a regionalization forum at the Old Town Hall in Barre on October 20 at 9 a.m.

“The dispatch center is truly a regional effort, with Nashoba Valley communities sharing the costs, responsibilities, and benefits of the E911 system,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We’re pleased that Devens has the capabilities to house the facility and that this initiative, like many regionalization efforts, will improve services while saving money.”

“The fact that the regional emergency communication effort can now move forward is great news,” said Harvard Town Administrator Tim Bragan. “Harvard’s selectmen should be applauded for their support and for being the first Nashoba Valley community to vote to move forward with regionalizing emergency communications. This will be a positive endeavor that will produce additional opportunities for all of us to work together for the benefit of all involved.”

“The Town of Lancaster welcomes the opportunity to be part of the Nashoba Valley Regional Dispatch District,” said Lancaster Town Administrator Orlando Pacheco. “Given the current financial strains on cities and towns, the opportunity for improved services with reduced costs will result in a win-win for our residents.”

“The Town of Lunenburg carefully weighed the pros and cons of signing on to this regional endeavor,” said Lunenburg Town Manager Kerry Speidel. “The decision to join was not an easy one and not made lightly. In the end, however, the need to meet the requirements of EMS 2000 in a cost-efficient manner was the deciding factor. We look forward to a successful working relationship with Devens and the Towns of Harvard and Lancaster.”

Located in north central Massachusetts and managed by MassDevelopment, Devens was created by statute in 1993 to support business growth and attract economic development opportunities in the region. The 4,400-acre site features fast-track permitting and other incentives for businesses. The former military installation is recognized today as a national model for military base redevelopment. Along with its business tenants, the Devens community also includes more than 2,100 acres of recreation and open space, private residences, schools, and a network of human and social services providers.