Schools, Streets Make Up Big Part of Watertown’s 5 Year Capital Plan

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Watertown City Hall

Watertown Town Hall

The town would spend nearly $450 million on building projects and equipment under the recommended five-year Capital Improvement Plan. The plan is nearly $80 million higher than the five-year plan for 2018-22, due in part to upcoming school building projects.Town Manager Michael Driscoll presented the conceptual Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for Fiscal Years 2019-23 Tuesday night. The plan will be considered by the Council’s Budget & Fiscal Oversight Committee as it considers the budget for Fiscal Year 2019, which begins June 30, 2018.

The Building for the Future school renovation or rebuilding projects makes up a large portion of the plan. The plan has $283.7 million set aside in total, with $125.1 million for the three elementary schools and $158.6 million for the high school project. Driscoll noted that the high school project has been invited to apply to the Massachusetts School Building Authority program and the MSBA would pay $76.1 million of the cost, while the town would have to finance $82.5 million.

In addition, $1.05 million has been set aside for regular maintenance and improvements to school buildings.

More than $102.7 million has been set aside for street and sidewalk improvements in the CIP. Each year since Fiscal 1999 the Town Council has dedicated money to street and sidewalk projects, with an average of $654,132 a year for a total of $13 million. In addition, the five-year plan includes $16.4 million in loans to do street and sidewalk projects: $5.8 million in Fiscal 2019, $2.8 million in Fiscal 2020 and 2021 and $2.5 million in Fiscal 2022 and 2023.

There are also $11.6 million in projects for which funding has not been determined, including a Watertown Square parking garage, renovating or reusing the former Police Station and the North Branch Library, renovation of the Multi-Service Center and information technology (IT) improvements.

In additions, there are projects that do not appear in the plan, but are expected to be done this year by transferring funds from other accounts in the Fiscal 2018 budget. The projects include: new election equipment, library lighting project rebate, lighting for Linear Path (between Waverley and Whites avenues), and demolition of the home recently purchased by the town at 10 Winter Street (near the library parking lot).

Driscoll also mentioned projects not in the plan that he recommended that the Town Council explore. These include reuse of the former Police Station and the North Branch Library, record storage management, Department of Public Works staging areas and Recreation and open space opportunities and improvements.

The recommendations will be considered by the Council and adopted by March 13, 2018.

View the entire conceptual Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Years 2019-23 here:

3 thoughts on “Schools, Streets Make Up Big Part of Watertown’s 5 Year Capital Plan

  1. It is about time the town focused on repaving streets. There are so many that should have been done 10+ years ago. I would like to see some statistics on the percentages of streets in poor, acceptable, and good conditions.

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