Council Passes, Mayor Signs FY2020 Budget

Last Wednesday, the City Council unanimously voted to accept Mayor Martin Walsh’s fiscal year 2020 Budget that was later signed by the mayor and went into effect on July 1.

The $3.49 billion budget reflects a $176 million increase over last year’s budget while simultaneously upholding the City of Boston’s strong record of proactive fiscal management.

In the budget Walsh included his fiscal year 2020-2024 Capital Plan that includes money to kick off several East Boston projects while getting others in the neighborhood over the goal line.

“These important investments are a reflection of our shared priorities,” said Mayor Walsh. “Those who supported this budget, from creation to passage, played a critical role in increasing the funding that will allow us to deliver on the promise of expanding opportunity across the city, from new housing to school nurses, more pre-kindergarten seats for our young people and additional resources to look at unsolved homicides. Through this budget we are continuing to set Boston up for future success, moving forward with urgency on our long-term plans to address climate change, affordable housing, better transit, arts and schools.”

In Eastie $29.9 million has been earmarked and construction will begin on a new police station that will replace the existing A-7 station.

The site of the new police station will be at the City Yards in Eagle Hill across from American Legion Playground.

The building’s designed will work to create a more efficient and better station for police for the community.

The station would be roughly 26,000 sq. ft. with an entrance on the corner of Condor and Trenton Streets. There will be parking in the rear of the station for 50 vehicles and Stevenson said the building will be LEAD Silver Certified.

Recently Mayor Walsh and the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture, in collaboration with the Boston Art Commission and Boston Police Department announced a ‘call to artists’ for a permanent art installation at the new station. The installation will also be funded through Walsh’s Capital Plan.

According to city officials, the public art will be placed on the future new Area A-7 Police Station in East Boston with the aim of creating a new public building that is welcoming to the community, while having a civic presence through public art.

The city will also spend $8.9 million for the rehab and construction of the Paris Street Pool across from the Paris Street Gym. The Gym recently underwent a $14 million overhaul and the pool’s rehab will compliment the new, state-of-the-art gym and community center.

When the pool was first built, it featured a glass roof, sliding doors that looked out onto the Paris Street playground as well as a veranda so residents could enjoy a swim and then sit outside during the hot summer months. The pool underwent an overhaul under then Mayor, Kevin White due to constant vandalism of the glass roof and glass doors. The pool was encased in cement blocks and now looks more like a bomb shelter than a community pool.

The plan, according to the city is to restore the pool back to its original glory and strengthen the connection between the pool building and the adjacent park.

The city will also spend $1 million to create the neighborhood’s first designated senior center at the former Orient Heights Branch of the Boston Public Library on Barnes Avenue across from the Orient Heights MBTA station.

The city will also spend $600,000 at the Otis School to replace windows in conjunction with the Massachusetts School Building Authority Accelerated Repair Program.

Another $600,000 will spend to replace the aging boiler at the MacKay School.

The Mayor’s Office is planning to spend $900,000 at the Adams School on a masonry project to address parapet repair.

Over $3.5 million will be spent on an annual program for replacing sports lighting at East Boston Memorial Stadium. The $3.5 million will be split between Christopher Lee Playground, Fallon Field, Hemenway and Memorial Stadium.

The city will spend $270,000 on shoreline stabilization along Chelsea Creek near East Eagle Street.

Eastie’s Urban Wild along Marginal Street known, as ‘The Rockies’ will share in $3.2 million in funding the city is setting aside to spruce up urban wilds owned by the Parks Department. For years the Rockies has been in dire need of repairs, including the retaining wall that separates the Rockies from the Adams School above. Over 25 years ago this patch of vacant city-owned property along Marginal Street was slated to be developed into housing but the community joined together to lobby officials for an Urban Wild to be developed on the site. Over the years the Rockies was transformed by the city, through a partnership with the Jeffries Point Community, into a community garden, orchard and Urban Wild. However, in the past few years the property has been unkempt, slightly unwelcoming and problems with the crumbling retaining wall have made it a bit dangerous.  While the site was an untamed Urban Wild the overhaul will transform the Rockies into a more beautifully landscaped park that welcomes more residents to interact with the space by adding paths and benches.

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