Commission files report on utility and municipal coordination

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The Special Commission on Utility and Municipal Coordination delivered its report to the Legislature on Dec. 9.
 
The best practices identified in the report include the development and sharing of capital improvement plans, holding regular planning meetings between municipalities and utilities, collaborative review of infrastructure plans and maps, appointment of coordinators by municipalities and utilities to serve as a key contact, and use of coordination software programs.
 
The commission was created by Chapter 259 of the Acts of 2014, which established a commission to examine ways to improve coordination among utility providers and municipalities to reduce unnecessary or duplicative roadway construction related to underground utilities.
 
The commission met over the past year to discuss utility coordination, determine barriers to effective coordination, and identify best practices and recommendations.
 
Framingham Town Engineer Eric Johnson served as the MMA’s representative on the commission, which included the chair of the Department of Public Utilities and representatives from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Utility Contractors Association of New England, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Protection, Boston Water and Sewer Commission, Massachusetts Water Works Association, and National Grid.
 
The report is available at www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dpu/sp-util-comm-report.pdf.