Ambrosino Proposes $16 Million Capital Improvement Plan

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t slowed down the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) as it did last year, with City Manager Tom Ambrosino proposing a $16 million plan with 40 projects at a Council subcommittee Monday night.

“This is a big investment and we have the funding for all of these projects,” Ambrosino told the Council.

The projects in the CIP range from the mundane – such as routine replacement of police cruisers and DPW dump trucks – to more high ticket projects like re-tooling the DPW City Yard and enhancing a flood mitigation project on Willow Street.

One of the requests if for $750,000 to upgrade the drainage system in the Central Avenue and Willow Street area – part of a $9 million project that will lay the groundwork for the mixed-income redevelopment of the Innes Public Housing Apartments.

Ambrosino said he was very excited about that portion of the CIP, and especially being able to do more than already planned to help with flooding.

“We’ll be doing a lot of work on Central Avenue and Willow Street in and around the Innes Development,” he said. “I’m excited about that. It has been an area of recurring flooding issues and we hope we can improve that.”

That project has a $5 million state grant, and the City – if the extra $750,000 is approved – will have put in $4 million.

Another key project in the CIP is addressing the DPW City Yard. There had been ideas about demolishing the Yard on Beacham Street and building new elsewhere. Instead, Ambrosino said he wants to invest $1 million into improving and renovating the Yard. He said he would also like to invest more next year and be able to keep it going there for another 10 years.

Other highlights in the proposed CIP include:

•$350,000 to match a $400,000 PARC Grant that would renovate Quigley Park, something strongly advocated for by Councilor Giovanni Recupero earlier this year.

•$550,000 for continued design and construction to public buildings. This time they would be renovating the Assessor’s Offices in City Hall.

•$300,000 for the third year in the five-year plan to replace all the water meters in the City.

•$500,000 for Phase 3 of the Garden Cemetery restoration project, focusing on the monuments and crypts within the cemetery.

•$400,000 for the Marlborough Street sidewalk replacement project.

•$300,000 to replace lead service pipes when found around the City – at no cost to homeowners.

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