City Budget Capital Plan Focuses On Transportation, Edwards Middle School

Within Mayor Martin Walsh’s $2.08 billion Capital plan, filed late last week, there are several measures that include funding proposals for Charlestown, including a renovation of the Edwards Middle School playground.

Funding in the Capital Plan, however, does not mean money is dedicated in the current proposed budget, unless otherwise mentioned, but rather that the projects are included in a five-year pipeline of projects to be funded.

On April 13, Walsh presented his $2.08 billion proposed Fiscal Year 2018 – Fiscal Year 2022 (FY18-FY22) Capital Plan, which makes critical investments in the City’s infrastructure in every Boston neighborhood, guided by Boston’s citywide plan, Imagine Boston 2030. With the City’s planning efforts well underway, Mayor Walsh is proposing to maximize the use of all resources available for capital investment in this year’s plan. Citywide, the initiatives included in this Capital Plan will move Boston residents’ priorities from idea to action by:

  • Investing $1 billion over ten years to bring Boston’s school buildings into the 21st century;
  • Implementing core initiatives outlined in Go Boston 2030 to strive for streets that are safer, travel that is more reliable, and transportation choices that will interconnect our neighborhoods;
  • Carrying out Imagine Boston 2030 open space goals to invest in the City’s public parks by leveraging Winthrop Square sale proceeds, City capital dollars and external funds;
  • Improving quality of life for residents by enabling affordable housing development through public infrastructure projects;
  • Demonstrating the City’s leadership and commitment to sustainable funding for the arts through the Percent for Art program, which will support the commissioning of public art.

“This Capital Plan prioritizes investments in Boston’s neighborhoods and is a direct reflection of the feedback we received from thousands of residents who contributed ideas to our planning processes,” said Walsh. “I am proud that we are able to put the wheels in motion to begin investing in projects that are important to Boston’s people, and that will prepare our City for a year of groundbreaking success.”

Some of the Charlestown items include the following:

  • A $703,000 multi-year renovation project at Edwards Playground, including safety surfacing, passive park improvements including site furnishings, upgraded utilities and pathways.
  • A $3.8 million multi-year full renovation of Engine 50 Station, including exterior masonry work, upgrades to building systems and widening of apparatus doors with $1.3 million being invested in Fiscal Year 2018.
  • A $30.1 million multi-year investment from the City will leverage State funds for the design and construction of a new North Washington Street Bridge that will replace the existing structure, with $2 million being allocated in Fiscal Year 2018.
  • An allocation of $14.8 million in funding for Sullivan Square/Rutherford Avenue redevelopment and planning.
  • An allocation of $2.75 million for investment in the Cambridge Street Bridge.

Citywide and in Charlestown, under the Imagine Boston 2030 umbrella, the City is investing in the core goals of BuildBPS, Go Boston 2030, Boston Creates, and Climate Ready Boston. An estimated 77 percent of the investment in the FY18-22 Capital Plan is aligned with the City’s planning efforts. In order to more expeditiously address the City’s investment aspirations, Mayor Walsh has increased planned borrowings by 22.5 percent over last year’s plan, leveraged one-time funding sources including Winthrop Square Garage sale proceeds and the Parking Meter Fund surplus balance, and advanced the City’s usage of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) Accelerated Repair Program.

The Capital Budget complements Mayor Walsh’s proposed FY`18 operating budget, which was released two weeks ago.


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