Every spring, the City of Boston releases our Imagine Boston Capital Plan for the next five years. It outlines where our city’s budget will be focused, our longer-term plans, and our priorities. Essentially, the capital plan details what initiatives and projects in your neighborhood and across the City that we’ll be investing in to make Boston’s future brighter.
From South End, to Mattapan, to Allston-Brighton, to Back Bay, it’s my priority to create growth and opportunity for every Bostonian in every neighborhood. Boston will be at its best when all its residents have the support and opportunity they need to thrive. Investing in initiatives and projects that bring shared growth, success, and greater equity is critical for our city to reach its full potential. Our Capital Plan invests in Boston’s strongest asset: our people. Boston is a city that’s world class because it works for the middle class, and our budget’s priority is to keep supporting the working families that make Boston great.
Here in the South End, we’re investing in some exciting initiatives and projects that we hope you and your neighbors will enjoy for many years to come.
We are investing in shared community spaces around the neighborhood starting with a $4.2 million investment in the South Bay Harbor Trail, which will serve as an important link in the City’s Greenway, connecting trails from the Fenway, the Southwest Corridor, Charles River Park, Broadway Bridge, and the Central Artery parks.
We are also investing $2.4 million for renovating Ramsay Park including a new play lot, basketball courts, tennis courts, plazas, passive areas, and lighting. Residents will once again be enjoying these park spaces in a matter of months.
A $132,000 investment will be put towards completing improvements to the South End Branch Library, including an interior reconfiguration project and major electrical, telecommunications, paint, and carpet upgrades.
Another $1.39 million will be set aside to complete renovations of the South End Fitness Center pool, which will include the installation of a rain screen wall, new ventilation, pool repairs, and door and window replacements.
The City is repairing our roadways starting with a $1.75 million investment to conduct roadway improvements including resurfacing, pavement markings, and new traffic signals to Washington Street from East Berkeley to Herald Street and Traveler Street. There will also be a $100,000 investment for road reconstruction improvements to Harrison Avenue between East Berkeley Street and Herald Street as part of a $2.2 million multi-year project.
Here in Back Bay, we’re investing in some exciting initiatives and projects that we hope you and your neighbors will enjoy for many years to come.
In Back Bay, we’re investing significantly in Boston’s flagship library, our Central Library. This $15.7 million multi-year renovation will invest in BPL’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Department to help preserve the Library’s valuable and historic special collections, with $5 million to be allocated in FY19. This project will provide major environmental and mechanical improvements to improve and maintain the Library’s collection, as well as the public reading room. Ultimately, the project will increase accessibility to the Library’s rare books and manuscripts, and ensure the collections can be preserved for all of Boston’s current and future residents.
We’re also investing in Back Bay’s public infrastructure: we’re investing $500,000 for continued sidewalk and streetscape improvements on Boylston Street, as part of a $2.26 million, multi-year project. Construction will also be completed on the $18 million Massachusetts Avenue Bridge, creating a long-lasting investment in the neighborhood.
Our longer-term investments are intended to lift up our neighborhoods in ways that take into account the needs and wants of the community. With this Capital Plan, we’re preparing our city for the next year, and the years forward.
What’s the next step for the Capital Plan? I have 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 2019, meaning the budget will take effect in July 2018, 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.