Kathryn Cannie from Public Agency Retirement Services leads a Learning Lab workshop on trends in investing, managing and funding retiree health care during the 2018 Annual Meeting & Trade Show.

This year’s MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show will feature 10 Learning Lab exhibitor workshops – twice as many as last year – providing more opportunities to hear from experts on a variety of topics.

The 30-minute Learning Lab sessions will be held in the Auditorium and Hall C on Saturday, January 19.


10:30-11 a.m.

Ten Essential Tips for Successful Infrastructure Projects
Location: End of the 100 Aisle
Presented by Green International Affiliates (Booth 1033)
Sometimes, municipalities are not prepared to undertake a major public design and/or construction project due to a number of contributing factors. This session will review potential pitfalls and make recommendations for municipalities to consider in future projects to ensure a more successful outcome.

Energy Efficiency Made Easy for Municipalities
Location: End of the 800 Aisle
Presented by Constellation (Booth 1101)
Cities and towns can take advantage of efficiency-based energy programs to improve their efficiency and reduce operating costs with no upfront capital necessary. Learn about Constellation’s Efficiency Made Easy program, through which cities and towns can increase efficiency and decrease operating costs within their retail energy contract.

11:10-11:40 a.m.

Introduction to DLS Safety Standards: OSHA for the Public Sector
Location: End of the 100 Aisle
Presented by the Department of Labor Standards (Booth 1123)
Workshop eligible for MIIA Rewards points
Learn how to create a safer workplace and comply with new workplace safety legislation that extends federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards to local governments. The Department of Labor Standards will provide an explanation of the updated law; details on employer responsibilities to reduce work-related injuries; resources for implementation; and information on how the DLS will enforce the new law.

Charters: Adoption and Amendment
Location: End of the 800 Aisle
Presented by K|P Law (Booth 1027)
KP Law Managing Attorney Lauren Goldberg will outline the processes for adoption and amendment of municipal charters. The discussion will include a summary of those areas where a charter may supersede state laws relative to municipal governance, and will also address the perceived differences between a “town manager” and a “town administrator.” She will conclude with a short list of charter “hot topics” that communities may wish to consider as they take on charter review or adoption.

11:50 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

The Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit
Location: End of the 100 Aisle
Presented by the Massachusetts Department of Environment Protection and the Statewide Stormwater Coalition (Booth 101)
Get an overview of the requirements of the new MS4 permit and estimated costs, with an emphasis on the requirements for public education and outreach. Learn how to implement the “Think Blue Massachusetts” educational campaign at the local level and how to incorporate the campaign into MS4 annual reports due in May. Information about regional stormwater coalitions and how they can help communities reduce the costs of MS4 through shared trainings, equipment and outreach material will also be shared.

Risk-Based Water and Sewer Rates: A Guide for Informed Decision Making
Location: End of the 800 Aisle
Presented by Tighe & Bond (Booth 822)
Water and sewer rates that are set using a transparent and data-driven process can help municipal decision-makers minimize the risks associated with the financial impacts of emergency repairs; erosion of revenue associated with decreasing water use; human health and regulatory compliance; negative press and loss of public confidence; rate shock due to sudden and drastic increased rates; and affordability and impacts to vulnerable populations. Learn how a fully informed, risk-based capital improvement program, combined with a fully integrated financial model using a 10-year planning window, will inform your rate decisions no matter what frequency you choose. Learn about the importance of time in reducing rate shock when faced with a large future capital expense.

12:30-1 p.m.

Up-to-Date Information on the Local Mandate Law
Location: End of the 100 Aisle
Presented by the Office of the State Auditor, Division of Local Mandates (Booth 1116)
Hear an update on the Local Mandate Law, including laws, court decisions and determinations. Learn how to identify an unfunded mandate, about resources available from the Division of Local Mandates to assist municipalities with state policies that impose financial costs, and outcomes of recent actions from the Division of Local Mandates. Municipal officials will learn what they should consider when thinking about the impact of state policy on their governments, and the other roles of the Division of Local Mandates regarding state policy.

Economic and Social Impact of Local Cultural Councils and Arts and Culture on Communities
Location: End of the 800 Aisle
Presented by Mass Cultural Council (Booth 722)
Local Cultural Councils support the local economy through arts and culture programming. Cities and towns will gain valuable information on how and why arts and culture are integral to the life of a community and how they can transform communities, while having a positive economic impact.

1:10-1:40 p.m.

Optimizing Roadway Assessments with GIS Analytics
Location: End of the 100 Aisle
Presented by StreetScan (Booth 415)
Learn how some municipalities are modernizing the way they manage their roads and sidewalks, which are among the most important and costly municipal assets. StreetScan’s automated data collection and algorithm-based roads prioritization software help municipalities optimize their road budgets and provide user-friendly analytics about the status of roads and sidewalks. Objective, up-to-date and accurate data on roadway conditions enable communities to make more efficient assessments and informed investment decisions on roadway infrastructure. Better data means better planning, resulting in better decisions and lower costs.

Taking Cooperative Procurement to the Next Level
Location: End of the 800 Aisle
Presented by OMNIA Partners – Public Sector (Booth 202)
Gain knowledge and strategies on how to effectively use cooperative procurement contracts to increase efficiencies in procurement. Learn about the easy compliance process for the use of cooperative contracts as called out in the Municipal Relief Act of 2010 regarding Chapter 30B.