By Mayor Martin Walsh
This month, I am proud to put forth a budget for the City of Boston that will make Boston a better place to work, live, and raise a family. At City Hall, we’ve created a plan for our City that will keep Boston financially sound, while making targeted investments towards achieving a thriving, healthy and innovative Boston. Boston’s operating budget totals $3.14 billion, which represents an increase of $143.7 million (or about five percent) over last year’s budget.
What does this mean for you, your friends and family? When we proposed the City’s budget, we did so knowing many in our City rely on the services we provide, whether it’s senior luncheons, homebuying workshops, recovery services or after-school programs for kids. We also funded projects to enhance our culture and identity such as increasing library services in neighborhoods and the Boston’s Artist in Residence program, which brings art to unexpected corners throughout Boston. Our budget continues to invest in Boston’s strongest asset: our people.
The City’s budget is big — that’s why I want to explain how it will affect your neighborhood.
It’s important that our young Bostonians have safe and fun places to play and so we’re giving Edwards Playground a major, $703,000 multi-year renovation. Improvements include new safety surfacing and throughout the park, site furnishings and upgraded utilities and pathways.
Additionally, to improve our public safety infrastructure, we’re investing $3.8 million in the next few years for a full renovation of Engine 50 — a firehouse in existence since 1853! Improvements include exterior masonry work, upgrades to the building systems and widening of apparatus doors with $1.3 million being invested in fiscal year 2018.
Getting where you’re going in a safe and timely way is a major priority in our city. Leveraging state funds, a $30.1 million multi-year investment is slated for the design and construction of a new North Washington Street Bridge to replace the existing structure, $2 million of which is allocated this year. Other essential transportation infrastructure improvements include $14.8 million towards Sullivan Square and Rutherford Avenue and $2.75 million towards the aging Cambridge Street Bridge.
It’s our goal that our local improvements tie in to our ultimate goal of improving the safety, accessibility and sustainability of our city while also making it an enjoyable and affordable place to live and work. The short and long term investments are intended to lift up our neighborhoods in ways that take into account the needs and wants of the community. With this budget, we’re preparing our city for the next year, and the years forward.
What’s the next step for the budget? This month, I submitted the City of Boston’s budget to the Boston City Council, where your City Councilor will review the proposed budget. Once the budget is approved, it will go into effect. This is the budget for fiscal year 2018, meaning the budget will take effect in July 2017, and run throughout the next 12 months.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look through the budget proposal, online at budget.boston.gov. Together, I look forward to investing in our neighborhoods, and our people.
Martin Walsh is mayor of the City of Boston.