By Mayor Martin J. 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.
Community centers are one of the most important features of a neighborhood. Besides providing spaces for gathering, programming and events for children, they tie the community together in friendship and cooperation. The BCYF Paris Street Community Center is getting a major, $12.4 million multi-year renovation to better fit the needs of the East Boston neighborhood. The project includes additional programming space, a Teen Center, a new gym floor, a rock climbing wall and a new fitness area. Behind the scenes, all mechanical systems as well as boilers, windows, exterior and interior door replacements, athletic facility improvements, tele-data upgrades and new furniture and equipment will also be upgraded.
The BCYF Paris Street Pool is also getting a $5 million investment, $520,000 of which is slated for fiscal year 2018. Renovations include upgrades to the mechanical systems, bathrooms and locker rooms, pool deck, lighting and entry. Noyes Park is also in store for a $3.1 million rehabilitation so that your public space works better for you.
At the heart of East Boston, Central Square is receiving a $7.85 million investment for urban redesign and improvements with $2.28 million dedicated for FY18 to complete construction. East Boston High School is also getting $4.7 million for new windows.
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.