On Monday, June 10, Council held a special meeting to hear a presentation by the administration on its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for Fiscal Year 2020.
Presenting the CIP was Eric Demas, CFO. Also on hand to answer any questions were Tony Sousa, director of Planning and Development; Gregory St. Louis, executive director of Public Works & Engineering; and Transportation Planner Jay Monty.
Presenters passed out copies of the CIP, which included general fund requests through bond authorization, as well as the enterprise fund, which covers water and sewer.
The City is requesting a total of $16 million for general requests through bond authorization across the City’s Police, Planning & Development, DPW Facilities Maintenance and DPW Highway Departments.
The City is requesting two new police motorcycles, totaling $50,000. The department has switched from Harley Davidson to BMW motorcycles due to the lower cost of maintenance and lower expenditure over the life of the vehicle. They were able to sell the Harley Davidson cycles already in use by the department and are aiming to purchase the new vehicles by the end of July.
The DPW Facilities Maintenance Department is requesting $450,000 to improve and build out the vocational offerings at the high school. These include adding two new classes specializing in medical billing and web design for the coming school year due to high demand. In coming years they hope to add HVAC and plumbing classes.
The DPW Highway Department is seeking a total of $4.2 million toward street and sidewalk repair, the design of Beacham Street, improving drainage on Elton and Tremont Streets by dredging the northern canal, and Commercial Triangle improvements – which would reduce flooding in Spring Street area. The funds would also go toward the design and refurbishments of playgrounds, acquisition of property, improvement to Everett Square, the implementation of Complete Streets, an extension to the Northern Strand bike path, and the design of the Lower Broadway bus lane.
By far the biggest ask is the $11.8 million for the Planning & Development Department. Some $6.4 million of that would go toward the staggered design, renovation and construction of five local parks: Florence, Seven Acre, Swan Street, Baldwin Avenue and Edith Street.
The City is also seeking $2.5 million annually for fiscal years 2020 to 2023 for water and sewer. This amount is after taking into account the grant funds and Operating Fund appropriation. The budget would allow for the improvement of water and sewer infrastructure, including replacing water mains and hydrants, improving data collection and purchasing a half-ton truck.
The City was not requesting any appropriations at this meeting, or for a vote to be held at the regularly scheduled Council meeting later that evening. The Council item would accept the City’s budget presentation only and Council will have the chance to review the line items in detail prior to voting on it at their June 24 meeting.
Members of the public were also invited to comment on the CIP at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting following this meeting.