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MIT puts $51M into city economy

Mayor Kenneth Reeves joined MIT officials and Cambridge business owners at a small party June 28 to honor the 28 local firms MIT has been doing business with for more than half a century.

At the "Golden Partners" celebration, university officials announced that, in the past 12 months, MIT pumped more than $51 million into the cash registers of Cambridge businesses and into the treasury of the City:

$42 million in purchases of goods and services from nearly 800 Cambridge businesses under MIT's long-term "Cambridge First" purchasing policy.

$9.3 million to the city government for real estate taxes, fees and MIT's 66th annual voluntary payment in lieu of taxes on its academic property. MIT paid $4.9 million in taxes on land and buildings not related to education; $3,540,000 for various city fees, licenses and permits related to operations of MIT facilities; and $887,000 in MIT's annual voluntary payment in lieu of taxes on its tax-exempt educational property.

Mayor Reeves, at the ceremony in McCormick Hall, said "There really are signs that a new era is occurring in MIT relations with the city." He said this was evident not only in dollar terms, and in the recent CASPAR agreement, but in terms of the volunteer services of MIT students and staff to Cambridge schools and youth.

MIT Vice President for Financial Operations James Culliton, who signs the checks for MIT, presented the mayor with the proclamation, signed by MIT President Charles M. Vest, that June 28 was "Cambridge First Day" at MIT.

Later in the day, MIT officials presented Mayor Reeves and City Manager Robert Healy with the check of $887,000 for its payment in lieu of taxes-the 66th such annual payment MIT has made since beginning the practice in 1928.

Among the 28 firms MIT honored at The Golden Partners Reception are three Cambridge businesses established for more than a century, even before MIT moved from Boston to Cambridge 77 years ago at the invitation of the mayor of Cambridge. The three long-time vendors are Masse Hardware, the Edwin A. Sage Co., and the New England Confectionery Co. (NECCO).

At the reception, Dave Masse and Charles Sage of the two family businesses were warmly applauded by the business people and MIT officials after their introduction by Barry M. Rowe, director of purchasing.

Certificates of Appreciation from MIT were presented to all the business representatives by Mr. Rowe and Diane M. Devlin, assistant director for purchasing. "MIT has always employed a Cambridge First policy in its purchasing activities," Mr. Rowe said. "MIT's goal is to place as much of our business as possible with Cambridge companies, and since 1980, has targeted Cambridge-based minority- and women-owned businesses."

The variety of goods and services MIT buys in Cambridge ranges from hardware supplies to newspapers, and from dry ice to moving services. In fiscal year 1993 alone, MIT completed more than 10,000 purchase transactions with 774 Cambridge companies amounting to $34.5 million. Mr. Rowe said that the purchases ranged from less than $100 for supplies to nearly $5 million for supercomputers. In addition, Mr. Rowe said that MIT placed another $7.5 million in orders through Cambridge travel agencies and hotels. That brought the total of MIT dollars spent in Cambridge during the fiscal year 1993 to $42,079,000.

The businesses, and their representatives, honored by MIT were:

Acme Dry Ice Co., Joseph Savenour; Boston Pipe & Fitting Co., Ellen Carstensen-Cayoot; Brattle Transportation Service, Tom Cromwell; Brine, Inc., Jim Brine; Cambridge Lumber & Supply Co., Leonard Katz; Commonwealth Lock Co., Ed Mayer; Dickson Brothers Co., Ed VerPlanck; EMF Electrical Supply Co., Abraham Katz; Galgay the Florist, Inc., David Galgay; Green Rubber Co., Inc., Mike Wilson.

Also: Kaufman Co., Inc., Dave and Sol Kaufman; Magazine Beach Shell, Shih Ming Shiue; Masse Hardware, Dave Masse; Metropolitan Pipe & Supply Co., Dan Duffy and Al Brown; Metropolitan Supply Co., Gerry Myerson; Mills Hardware, Saul Komessar; New England Confectionery Co. (NECCO), Domenic Antonellis; Olmsted-Flint, Inc., Vincent Liguori.

Also, Out of Town News, Sheldon Cohen; Payne Elevator Co., John DeMartino; Polaroid Corp., Verna Brookins; Putnam Furniture, Carl and Ruth Barron; S&S Deli Restaurant, Gary Mitchell; Sage Co., Charles Sage; Sheraton Commander Hotel, James Collins and Karen Kroner; R.C. Sullivan Co., Richard J. Sullivan; University Stationery Co., Barry Seidman; and Walsh Brothers, Inc., James Walsh.

A version of this article appeared in the July 14, 1993 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 1).

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