Jesse Geller Awarded 2022 Citizen Planner Award
The American Planning Association - Massachusetts Chapter (APA-MA) Awards
Committee has selected Jesse Geller, Brookline Zoning Board of Appeals Chair to receive the 2022 Citizen Planner Award on December 9th. A planning consultant that has served over 180 Massachusetts communities noted in her support letter that they "have very rarely seen a Zoning Board
of Appeals (ZBA) chair manage the Comprehensive Permit process with the skill, the
commitment to fairness, and the depth of understanding of Chapter 40B that Brookline’s Chair
Jesse Geller demonstrates at every public hearing." Congratulations to Chair Geller! Staff from the Department of Planning & Community Development and Building Department were thrilled to nominate him for this award, which may be the first awarded to a ZBA member.
$800,323 State Funds added to Brookline's Community Preservation Fund
The Community Preservation Committee is happy to announce Brookline’s first Community Preservation Act (CPA) State Match has been allocated! The Town will receive a 30.3% match in the amount of $ 808,323.00 to our Community Preservation fund. This amount does not include the allocation of an additional $20 million in state budget surplus funds to the CPA Trust Fund, so a second distribution is possible as well. The Community Preservation Coalition advocated on behalf of CPA communities to obtain this additional funding, and this group has indicated that this year’s match could increase to 38% once these funds are distributed.
November was an exciting month for Brookline’s Community Preservation Committee, as it also published a Request For Quotation for a consultant to develop Brookline’s Community Preservation Plan and Application process. The Committee hopes to develop this plan with robust participation from community stakeholders. Community engagement activities are planned for Spring of 2023. The current timeline has the Committee on track to accept the first CPA applications in the fall of 2023, with the first round of CPA projects funded at Spring Town Meeting, 2024. The Community Preservation Committee looks forward to working with Brookline residents and stakeholder groups to put these funds to work in the community!
Dec 5, 6, or 7: Community Input on Allocating $5.4 Million of Federal Funds to our Region for Affordable Housing & Rental Assistance
Brookline, along with other 12 municipalities in the west metro area, is part of the WestMetro HOME Consortium, which receives and administers the HUD HOME program under the Cranston-Gonzales National Affordable Housing Act. The HOME program provides formula grants to fund a range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership or providing direct rental assistance to low-income people.
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the federal government appropriated $5 billion in one-time funds for the HOME-ARP Program, which is designed to assist individuals and households who are homeless, at risk of homeless, or other vulnerable populations through housing, rental assistance, supportive services, and non-congregate shelter. The WestMetro HOME Consortium will be responsible for administering $5,406,962 of these one-time federal funds. As part of the HUD-regulated process, submission and approval of an Allocation Plan is required for the Consortium to receive these funds, and the input gathered from the public will be crucial for developing this plan.
Sign up to attend any one of these 90-minute meetings on Dec. 5th at 7 pm, 6th at 5 pm, or 7th at noon: tinyurl.com/WestMetro-HOME-ARP-Meeting.
Brookline Electricity Program Offers Savings this Winter
The Town’s electricity supply program for residents and small businesses, Brookline Green Electricity (BGE), will begin a new supply contract in December 2022, which will provide fixed prices for the next two years. The Town is proud to announce that under the new contract, the most popular offering in the Program, Brookline Green, will provide 90% renewable energy in 2023 and 100% in 2024.
Brookline Green will also cost less than Eversource Basic Service rates in December 2022 through June 2023, although future savings cannot be guaranteed. On November 18th, Eversource filed its Basic Service power supply rate (excluding delivery rates) for its eastern Massachusetts territory for the period of January 1 through June 30, 2023, with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU). That supply rate came in at 26 cents per kilowatt-hour (c/kWh), whereas the Brookline Green rate is 16 c/kWh.
Additionally, since the Program launch, Brookline Green Electricity has yielded more than $6.3 million in cumulative savings to participants (future savings cannot be guaranteed).
Starting with the electricity bill participants receive for December 2022, the Supplier name will change to the reflect Program’s new supplier “Brookline Green Electricity c/o NES.” BGE Participants may change to another option in the Program at any time or opt out of the Program without penalty. To select a different BGE option or to opt out of the Program, use the online form at BrooklineGreen.com or call the new supplier, NextEra, at 877-960-5514.
For questions about Brookline Green Electricity, please contact the Town’s support line at (800) 931-6221.
Proposed Eversource Basic Service rate for Residential customers January - June 2023.
* Future savings cannot be guaranteed because Eversource rates beyond June 2023 are unknown.