A fantastic piece on WBJournal.com earlier this week about how small towns are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to securing money for “shovel-ready” projects.
Gaumond said the state is more likely to find that the other 15 projects West Boylston submitted are shovel ready, but he said towns often lack the completed plans and site work that make quick turnaround a slam-dunk. He said large cities often have planners on staff who can draw up plans and have them ready to go when needed.
“Small towns like us, we don’t have a plan like that sitting on the shelf,” he said.
Paul Moosey, assistant commissioner of public works for the City of Worcester, agreed that larger cities like Worcester had an easier time coming up with appropriate projects for the list. Moosey leads the engineering and architectural divisions of the DPW, which provide the sorts of services that smaller communities would have to get from external companies. He said the DPW could shift projects around if necessary to get selected plans completed within the 180 days.
“We can find a way of doing it,” he said. “For a small community that doesn’t have a staff like that they’d have to go through a designer selection process.”
We’re hearing similar rumblings from small towns in Central Mass. about the difficulties of securing money from FEMA in the wake of last year’s ice storm: There is so much paperwork, etc required, that smaller communities are immediately up against a larger hurdle than cities with larger dedicated staffs.
[Editor’s Note: This item was due to be posted Monday, but by some WordPress twist of fate, ended up as a draft. We post it here now anyway…]