The Cummington Council On Aging recently enjoyed a beautiful passage aboard the Lady Bea at Brunelle's Marina in South Hadley, a fun summer outing made possible with the help of the Easy Ride Senior Van. Several other Hilltown COAs have organized fun trips for seniors this summer, including to the Normal Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, the Hancock Shaker Village, and the Barret Fishway in Holyoke. Upcoming COA trips planned for this fall include the Big E and Mt. Greylock. All told over 60 local seniors have participated in COA outings this summer, which continue to be popular social events that many seniors look forward to. If you are interested in planning or attending a COA trip on the van, contact your local COA and make sure you are signed up in advance to ride the van! Thanks to Easy Ride Coordinator Ed and Van Drivers Jim and Bob for making these fun trips possible for our seniors.
The Hilltown Mobile Market aims to increase the availability of fresh, local, and affordable produce for Hilltown residents. In 2019 we are offering two “pop-up” locations: Thursdays from 3-5PM at the Maples, 48 Old North Rd, Worthington, and Fridays from 3-5PM at Stanton Hall Green, 24 Russell Rd, Huntington. The markets will run from July 25th through September 27th. For additional information, directions, recipes and more, visit the website, www.hilltownmobilemarket.info
There are two ways you can participate in the market. If you are eligible for SNAP (food stamps), you can sign up now for a $5 per week farm share that is 100% reimbursable through HIP (Healthy Incentives Program). The farm share is valued at $175 for 10 weeks and will include approximately five items of your choice from the abundant local produce on the market stand each week. Or, you can simply visit the market each week to purchase your favorite fresh, Hilltown-grown vegetables.
For details on how to sign-up for the farm share, contact market organizer Seva Tower at email@example.com or call 413-824-1840. There are limited spots available so don’t delay!
We are delighted to partner with several local farms including Crabapple Farm in Chesterfield, Hart Farm in Conway, Sawyer Farm and Four Corners Farm in Worthington, and Intervale Farm in Westhampton. This project is a collaboration between the Hilltown Food Council, Hilltown CDC, Healthy Hampshire, and the Hilltown Community Health Center. It is a two-year project funded through a grant from the Attorney General’s Office.
Help us support our local Hilltown farmers and provide more ways to get healthy, fresh food to our Hilltown communities. See you at the market!
The Baker-Polito Administration has announced $8 million in tax credit allocations to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and Community Service Organizations (CSOs) through the state’s Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program.
The CITC program provides eligible CDCs and CSOs with a tool to leverage support from stakeholders and local residents to increase fundraising efforts and expand organizational capacity. These organizations partner with nonprofit, public, and private entities to improve economic opportunities for low and moderate-income households and communities. Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $22 million through the CITC program, and during this time, the CITC program has generated more than $34.5 million in private investments across the Commonwealth.
“Community Development Corporations undertake important work in our communities by supporting affordable housing, community development, and critical services for residents,”said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud to work with these organizations to ensure all Massachusetts residents have access to affordable housing and safe neighborhoods.”
“The Community Investment Tax Credit Program is a unique tool to encourage private investment,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “From instituting new lead paint programming in Central Massachusetts, to bringing on a full-time community planner in Boston’s Chinatown, our CDCs have leveraged significant funding to bring impactful programming to communities across the Commonwealth.”
Lt. Governor Polito announced the awards at an event at the Hilltown CDC in Chesterfield. Through the CITC program, CDCs have been able to employ more staff, reach communities more effectively, and pursue new programming to the benefit of Massachusetts communities. CDCs help families find homes, connect residents to jobs, grow small businesses, and bring communities together in rural, urban, and suburban areas.
“Hilltown CDC is grateful to host the Lieutenant Governor as she announces the state’s CITC awards to CDC’s.” Says Hilltown CDC Executive Director Dave Christopolis. “CITC has been a successful financial and community organizing tool for our rural region. Access to capital is very limited in rural communities and this is no different in the Hilltowns of Massachusetts. This is due to declining rural populations and decades long urbanization. CITC provides a vehicle for people to invest in rural communities through Hilltown CDC.” Hilltown CDC has used it’s CITC donations to expand work with local farmers and retailers, expand our senior van with a driver pool and offer marketing and organizing support to our local artists and musicians. It has provided capital to build rural senior housing and provide technical assistance to our rural town governments. “Rural communities are struggling to survive,” says Christopolis. “Twenty-first century rural communities need a vision and the capacity to carry out this vision. It requires our government and philanthropy to invest in people and to reimagine the importance of a vibrant rural economy. CITC allows this to happen.”
“It is truly exciting to see what happens when banks, hospitals and individuals work together to make their communities a better place to live,” said Joe Kriesberg, President of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations. “Today, because of their collective belief and investment in their local community development corporations, millions of Massachusetts residents, regardless of their socio-economic status in life, will see demonstrative improvements to their neighborhoods and share in the benefits of Massachusetts’ success. For those unable to participate in the CITC for this year’s tax filing, be sure to visit the MACDC website to learn about how you can get involved next year.”
The CITC program awarded the maximum $150,000 in credit allocations to the Hilltown CDC. CDCs apply for tax credits to support fundraising for the development and implementation of their community investment plan from the CITC program. Individuals, corporations, and other entities that make a qualified contribution to a CDC earn a 50 percent state tax credit. For more information on the program and how to contribute, contact Finance Director Denise LeDuc at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 413-296-4536 x114.
This spring we are launching our new quarterly newsletter to share some of the many things we are working on here at the Hilltown CDC. Take a peak inside to read more about planning the new Worthington Senior/Community Center, Climate Resilience planning, the new Rural Policy Advocacy Commission, and the upcoming Hilltown Open Studio Tour!
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It’s here! Watch your mailbox for the 2019 edition of the Hilltown Business Directory. It’s your go-to resource for finding what you need locally, full of at-your-fingertips information on local businesses and services throughout the Hilltowns. No wi-fi necessary, and it even works in a power outage! Produced each year since 1986, the Hilltown Business Directory now covers 23 towns and is mailed to over 15,000 households each spring. It contains a comprehensive listing of everything from contractors and snow plowing, to attorneys, surveyors, doggie day-care providers and yoga classes. Please remember to tell them you found them in the Hilltown Business Directory! Working together we can support and grow our local Hilltown economy!
October 16 was a special evening for Hilltown Community Development as we gathered to thank State Representative Stephen Kulik for his 25 years of service to the Hilltowns. Constituents, community leaders and former staffers took the opportunity to thank Steve and reminisce fondly of the years of leadership and hard work he has given to his district. The gathering took place at the Worthington Golf Club, and music was provided by Executive Director Dave Christopolis on Upright Bass accompanied by friends Charlie Tokarz on Saxophones and Dave Bartley on Piano. The gathering also doubled as Hilltown Community Development’s Annual Meeting with voting for Board positions. For years, the organization has held a spring Annual Meeting – yes, we had one in spring 2018 – but needed to move the Annual Meeting to fall to better align with the close of our fiscal year. By having two Annual Meetings this year, we have officially made the change and will have our next one in the fall of 2019. Finally, the evening was a first introduction to the community of our new logo and tagline, a refresh of our look and a more polished image to take us into the future.
Photos by HCDC Board Member Susan Slattery
This fall the Hilltown CDC celebrated the completion of the Goshen Senior Housing project. Highland Village Circle consists of ten one-bedroom apartments for tenants who are at least 62 years old and who meet income qualifications. The apartments are located in the town center, across Route 9 from Town Hall and within walking distance to the Municipal Office Building, the Council on Aging, the Congregational Church, the post office, and the general store. Goshen’s Select Board appointed the Goshen Elder Housing Committee in the year 2010 to explore the possibility of building housing for senior citizens. The five-member committee met for eight years and worked with the Hilltown CDC to make this idea into a reality. At the September 28th Open House a proclamation by the Massachusetts State Senate honored the five members of the Goshen Elder Housing Committee, all of whom served for the entire eight-year period from the time of their appointment until the completion of the project. Job well done!