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  • July 30, 2020 10:11 AM | Anonymous

    IrriTech Training is now an approved training provider for the Massachusetts Workforce Development Express Program. This is the initial program IrriTech has been approved for and it reimburses the participating company 50% of the training cost. IrriTech plans on applying for 100% reimbursement as soon as the application period opens for the upcoming year. We will keep you posted. 

    Learn more about the approved courses and the program here. Registration is available online at www.irritechtraining.com/events

    If you have any questions, please contact Olga Shvayko (508.564.4465). 

    workforce flyer_irritech.pdf

  • July 30, 2020 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that the annual sales tax-free weekend will take place the weekend of August 29-30. This marks the second sales tax holiday held under the new law signed by Governor Baker in 2018 that made the weekend an annual occurrence.

    “The annual sales tax holiday is an opportunity for us to support small businesses and consumers, and this year, it’s a great way to support our economy that’s been impacted by COVID-19,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This pandemic has created enormous challenges for the Commonwealth’s small businesses, and the sales tax-free weekend is one way that we can encourage more economic activity to help Main Street businesses and local economies.”

    “As the Commonwealth continues its phased reopening process, we recognize that many small businesses continue to face difficulties,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We are proud that our Administration worked with the Legislature to enact legislation making the sales tax holiday permanent and look forward to this year’s tax free weekend and the economic activity that will come with it.”

    “We are proud to continue supporting local businesses and consumers as we work with our colleagues in the Legislature to navigate the evolving COVID-19 environment while adhering to public health guidelines,” said Secretary for Administration and Finance Michael J. Heffernan. “The upcoming sales tax holiday will be an opportunity for people throughout Massachusetts to help support local companies and generate much needed economic activity.”

    In 2018, Governor Baker signed legislation that makes the annual sales tax holiday permanent. The Department of Revenue today is designating August 29-30 as the sales tax holiday under M.G.L. Chapter 64H, Section 6A.

    Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about this year’s annual sales tax holiday.


  • July 09, 2019 12:00 PM | Anonymous


    We wanted to let our members know about two upcoming Irritech industry training events. 

    • Commercial Irrigation Installation, Tuesday, July 23, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. To view the program flyer, click here. 
    • Hands-on Landscape Lighting, Thursday, July 18, 2:30 p.m.-Sunset. To view the program flyer, click here. 

    To register online, visit www.irritechtraining.com/events/. If you have any questions regarding the training events, please contact info@irritechtraining.com

  • April 15, 2019 11:01 AM | Anonymous

    As you know the deadline for budget amendments was yesterday at 5PM. We went through the list and identified the list below. Happy to answer any questions or discuss in greater detail. The budget debate will begin on Monday, April 22 so we have this week to let our legislators know how we feel about these. 

    Thanks to those of you who reached out to their State reps asking for their co-sponsorship on #1298 by Rep. Mark relative to funding for the soil testing equipment. Please touch base with them again, or for the first time, asking for their support for that one as well as #1197 by Rep. Finn and in opposition to #1339 by Rep. Dykema.

    These two (1197, 1339) are relative to neonics. The Dykema amendment is the same as her legislation and we asked Rep. Michael Finn to file a modified study amendment as an alternative. This is a similar scenario to last year and we hope to keep her legislation out of the budget once again. She filed her bill and the committee should handle this rather than it being added to the budget. 

    Happy to discuss in greater detail or answer any questions. 

    Stephen A. Boksanski, Principal 

    BCB Government Relations, Inc. 

    617-423-6600  |  617-835-6394 (m)

  • February 15, 2019 1:49 PM | Anonymous

    Please find a brief update on our state government affairs activity.

    WRC
    I attended the Water Resource Commission meeting yesterday where a majority of their time was spent on discussing the draft Drought Management Plan.  The commented period remains open until February 25th.  We developed the attached comments working primarily with the IANE and want to share that – click here to view.  I made some brief comments at the meeting, highlighting the inconsistency in terminology etc between the DMP, the MGL, the WCS and the DEP Model Bylaw.  I expect there will be some follow up on this.

    I saw Lexi Dewey there, who runs the Water Supply Citizens Advisory Committee to the MWRA. Chris Pine and I attended one of their meetings last May and presented on irrigation technology and policy.  She remains supportive of our legislative and regulatory efforts and hopes her group will lend us their voice this session.  She also sent this asking for our thoughts: http://www.allianceforwaterefficiency.org/Landscape-Transformation-Infographic.aspx

    I also had the opportunity to speak with Jennifer Pederson with the Massachusetts Water Works Association about our frustrations with the DEP and the lack of movement on the regulatory front.  She offered to meet with us and maybe one of the municipal stakeholders to see if we can discuss how to get the process moving.

    DAR
    We have requested a meeting with the Commissioner and they agreed to set something up.  I will let you know when we get some dates but timing should be mid to late March.  This will be a good opportunity to catch up on some issues and explore ways to work together.

    Committee Assignments
    Sen. Anne Gobi (D-Spencer) and Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D-Lenox) will returning as Chairs of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.  Old friend Sen. Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport) is the new Chair of the Senate Ways and means Committee and Aaron Michlewitz (D-Boston) will helm the House Ways and Means Committee.  

    Click here for Senate Committee Assignments

    Click here for House Committee Assignments


    As always, please do not hesitate to reply of call me directly with any questions or comments.

    Stephen A. Boksanski, Principal
    BCB Government Relations, Inc.
    44 School Street, Suite 710
    Boston, MA 02108
    617-423-6600 | 617-835-6394 (m)

  • December 27, 2018 1:49 PM | Anonymous

    As 2018 comes to an end, I would like to take a moment to reflect on some incredible colleagues that passed in the IANE over the past few years. Our industry will never be the same without any of them.

    Jim McGovern wrote this about Phil Tropeano so well at his passing in 2015, I will just repost it. His family and mine have known each other for decades, he is missed by many.

    1    Phil Tropeano, founder of Larchmont Engineering and Irrigation, passed away this weekend at the age of 93. Phil started Larchmont in 1949 working in the agricultural market manufacturing and distributing specialized farm machinery and conveyors. Irrigation was added in 1950 and snow making in 1951. Phil was nothing short of a pioneer and some of his original design equipment is still in use today. Phil was also a mentor to many in the irrigation industry, including myself. He had such a big heart and will be missed by many.

    Not much you can say about this man that has not been said before. It would be hard to imagine anyone, over the years, that has done business with Stateline and has not had the pleasure of knowing Bob. His loss was a shock to all that knew him and especially to his son Rob and his family at Stateline.

    2-    Robert J Fragala, In 1988, he founded Stateline Irrigation Supply with his wife and two partners and built it into the 9 branch/30 employee organization that it is today.  His son got into the business and they worked side-by-side until the day he died, doing the job he loved and considered his favorite hobby. He passed unexpectedly, on November 15, 2017 at age 73 at his his second home in Desert Hot Springs, CA.

    We lost two long time members and former officers in the IANE in 2018. Many of us in the industry and the IANE, were very fortunate to have had the pleasure of knowing them. Their contributions will never go unnoticed and they will be missed.

    3-    Robert "Bob" Alan Paxton, 62, of Bedford passed away on August 13, 2018. Bob opened his business, New England Lawn Irrigation, which grew successfully until his retirement in 2017. Bob was a former Presidents of the IANE.

    4-    David Hock, 64, of Manchester died surrounded by his loving family and friends on November 24, 2018 as a result of a sudden illness. He was born on February 23, 1954 in Manchester to the late Edward and Marion (Shatz) Hock. Dave attended Manchester schools and graduated from UNH in 1974. He was co-owner of Landscape Plus for over 19 years and owner of NH Irrigation since 1986. He took great pride in his work and was widely respected by his customers and peers. It brought him great joy to work side by side with his son Chris and for many years with his good friend Mark Germana. Dave was one of the founding fathers of the IANE and a former President.

    Sincerely,

    Peter Roberto
    IANE President

  • December 20, 2018 3:00 PM | Anonymous

    Thank you to all who attended the IANE Annual Meeting held on December 13th at X1 Boston.  At this event, IANE voting members elected a new Board of Directors and approved the IANE By-Law amendments.

    Congratulations to the recently elected IANE Board of Directors:

    President:  Peter Roberto - Shady Tree Landscaping Inc.
    Vice President: Tim Preston - Wisteria & Rose
    Treasurer: Bob Barbati - Atlantic Irrigation
    Clerk: Charles R. Williams, III - Rainscape Lawn Sprinklers, LLC
    Director: Bryan Sanderson - Northeast Nursery

    To view an outline of the amendments that were voted on, click here.

    To view the newly revised By-Laws, click here.

    We would like to thank our sponsors of this event:


    We would also like to thank our speakers for the day:

    David Asadoorian, CPA who discussed how the tax law changes are going to affect the contractor's business and personally. Click here to view a PDF of his presentation
    Manufacturer Panel discussed controller technology
    Moderator: Chris Pine of C. Pine & Associates
    Panel: Ernie Drougas, Hunter Industries
    Joe Keteltas, The Toro Company
    Kyle McNerney, Smart Water Management


    On behalf of the IANE Board of Directors, we would like to wish you all a happy holiday season!

    Julie Heston
    IANE Association Manager

  • December 04, 2018 1:00 PM | Anonymous

    At this year's annual meeting on December 13th the IANE membership will vote on the following proposed Bylaw amendments.  The main purpose of amending the bylaws was to reduce the number of board members needed and to take away the need to have board members from each region.

    Please click here to review the proposed bylaw amendments

    *Changes are marked in red.

    Thank you,

    Julie Heston, Association Manager

    Irrigation Association of New England


  • October 05, 2018 1:21 PM | Anonymous

    Below please find an update of some issues of interest from the Green Industry Alliance.

    Water Conservation Standards
    As Vandana Rao announced at the September meeting of the Water Resources Commission, the updated Massachusetts Water Conservation Standards have been published. The standards document is available on this page:
    https://www.mass.gov/service-details/details-on-the-2018-massachusetts-water-conservation-standards

    Financing Sustainable Water Workshop
    The Alliance for Water Efficiency is holding a workshop on building sustainable water rates on Wednesday, November 14th, hosted by the MA Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).  Attached please find the Save the Date flyer that provides an outline of what they will be discussing.    It runs all day (8:45AM-2:30PM) at the Sharon Community Center and registration is required. 
    Click here for more information

  • August 07, 2018 12:08 PM | Anonymous

    The Legislature is working its way through a large set of conference committees to resolve differences between House and Senate versions of the big policy developments for 2018 and the two-year term.  Formal sessions end on midnight Tuesday, July 31st and the rush is on to rack up some legislative accomplishments.  A final FY19 budget was sent to Gov. Baker on July 18th and he returned a few dozen line item vetoes along with several policy matters that were sent back with suggested changes.  The Legislature is likely to override the vast majority of these and each requires a two-thirds majority, roll call vote in both branches to be overridden.  While the majority party has plenty of votes to get over this hurdle, timing will play a bigger factor in the eventual outcome.  All override votes must start in the House so they set the pace and with several conference committees still in negotiations, the House could put the Senate in a difficult position by delaying action on these and forcing the Senate into a race against the clock.

     

    The Legislature has reached agreement on several matters including an environmental bond bill (H.4835) that has been engrossed by the House and should receive a similar vote by the Senate today.  You may recall there were a couple of pollinator protection-related amendments filed during the Senate debate, but those were withdrawn and therefore not part of the final package.  The stand-along bill (H.4041) remains before the House Committee on Ways and Means and the advocates continue to push for a favorable report.  If that does not happen before July 31st, which we do not expect, then it is dead, along with all the other bills that could be deemed controversial.

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