Officials from Brockton and Stonehill recently signed a new 20-year agreement on sewage disposal, a point of contention in past relations between the College and the City, which takes and treats the school’s waste water.
Passed unanimously by the City Council, the agreement, which goes into effect on January 1, stems from 18 months of negotiations between Mayor Bill Carpenter and College officials, led by Francis Dillon, the vice president for advancement.
“The old agreement needed updating and we went into the negotiations with a substantial proposal and were committed to a frank, open dialogue with the City. To his credit, Mayor Carpenter responded in a very focused fashion, which is why we have a win-win agreement that benefits both parties,” said Dillon.
The discussions led to the establishment of a $2.8 million scholarship program for Brockton students over the next 20 years. Also, the College’s 36 residence halls were recognized as being the equivalent of City homes, apartments and condos and, going forward, they will be billed on individual meters. The 16 non-residential campus buildings will be billed on a single meter resulting in an increased sewer rate. Under the agreement, the College will pay a 7.5 percent out-of-network surcharge and new connections to the sewer system will be subject to City approval and fees.
Speaking in support of the new agreement before the City Council’s Finance Committee on December 7, Mayor Carpenter noted that both sides made compromises to reach the “best final deal.”
“We resolved a lot of outstanding issues, secured long-term stability for campus growth in the coming decades and paved the way for even better relations with the City of Brockton,” said Dillon.
Since the College opened in 1948, many Brockton students have attended Stonehill and the most recent figures from the Alumni Office show that 430 alumni live in the City today. In addition, 70 College employees, 10 percent of our workforce, are also City residents.
“We want to see that tradition not only continue but thrive in the years ahead,” said Dillon, “It is important to us, which is why we hope this scholarship program will lead to even more students from Brockton choosing to attend Stonehill.”
Other ways in which the College partners with the City include the many Stonehill education students serving in Brockton schools, nonprofits availing of the Center for Nonprofit Management’s expertise, The Farm at Stonehill providing fresh produce to City residents, and the Office of Community-Based Learning linking City groups with students and faculty. In addition, there is the impact of purchasing power. In 2014-2015, using their Hill Cards at Brockton establishments, Stonehill students spent more than $133,000 in the City.