Middlesex Savings Bank donating $20K to Southborough Police & Fire

Above: Community Banking representatives from Middlesex Savings Bank told selectmen it was a pleasure to support the Town’s public safety departments. (image from Southborough Access Media video)

Last night, the Board of Selectmen happily accepted $20,000 from Middlesex Savings Bank to use towards the Town’s public safety departments.

The Police and Fire chiefs were first notified of the donations by email. Police Chief Paulhus noted that he was initially cautious that it may have been a phishing scam. He was happy to learn that the donation for his department was legitimate.

Paulhus quipped to selectmen that after asking them for money last week, he was happy to be back with good news this week. The Fire and Police department will each receive $10,000 dollars from the bank. The only caveat is that it not go to personnel costs.

In memos included in the board’s meeting packets chiefs notified selectmen how they planned to use the funds. Neither chief indicated it would offset costs or capital items in the proposed FY21 budget.

A memo from Paulhus stated the donation to the SPD would be used for training:

The department plans to expend the resource on training equipment and programs to prepare our staff in providing the best service to the community in the safest manner possible. Additions to our upcoming MILO virtual training system will be of first priority.

A memo from Fire Chief Steven Achilles stated that SFD would use funds to help with expenses related to protective clothing:

It is my intent to use the funds to 1) supplement an EMPG grant for a protective clothing dryer, and 2) offset funds expended in our FY20 operating budget, account #55850, for new and replacement protective clothing.

At the Board of Selectmen meeting last night, the chiefs brought representatives from the bank with them. Selectmen and the chiefs expressed their appreciation. The board didn’t discuss how the money would be spent, but voted to approve the funds for the chief’s specified uses.*

This is the third straight year that the bank has made big gifts towards Southborough’s community good. 

Each year, the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation chooses recipients for charitable donations. Starting in 2018, the Foundation decided to choose a theme for supporting each community in its branch footprint. 

This year, the bank announced its gift would be $520,000 to first responders in over 26 communities:

Mike McAuliffe, president and CEO of Middlesex Savings Bank stated, “Middlesex Savings Bank’s gift to our local first responders is given as a gesture of gratitude and recognition for all that they do to keep our communities safe. We saw that firsthand last summer when several local police and fire departments responded to the downtown Natick fire across the street from our branch. As a 185-year old community bank, supporting the organizations that care for our customers and neighbors is a vital part of our heritage.”

Last year, the bank gifted $1.4M to 31 towns. $20,000 went to food pantries. $15,000 was gifted to friends of libraries and another $15,000 to organizations supporting senior centers. Southborough was one of the Towns supported. In 2018, Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation made $1.2M worth of gifts to non-profits supporting education in their communities. The Southborough Education Foundation was one of the 24 recipients of $50,000 checks.

*Updated (2/12/20 2:42 pm): The motion referred to accepting funds for use “as stated in the packet”. The Agenda specified under consent items “$10,000 for Police Department training equipment and programs” and “$10,000 for Fire Department EMPG Grant supplementation and protective clothing”.

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