Preview: City Council agenda (June 23)

The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday at 7pm. The agenda is here. This week: the capital budget. Specifics on the capital budget are at the bottom of this post.

The rest of the agenda:

  • City TV Stations: The Auditor was asked for an analysis of the funds for the Public, Educational, and Government TV channels. He provides this report this week, including some details on how and why the Government Channel has $1,000,000 in reserves.
  • Tax Breaks: There are some items regarding Tax Incentive Financing for the project building a giant industrial building at 150 Blackstone River Road in Quinsig Village. The T&G has more.
  • Foreclosures: Some changes will be made to the city Ordinances Relative to Vacant and Foreclosing Properties.
  • Boards and Commissions: Ariel Lim will be appointed to the Community Development Advisory Committee.
  • Food Trucks: The City plans to make it easier to operate food trucks in Worcester. The T&G has more.
  • Murals: The city is expected to approve 3 new spots for murals, the Raven (256 Pleasant St), 19 McKeon Road, and 50 Water St. The T&G has more.
  • City Manager Evaluation: The Council will be evaluating City Manager Ed Augustus on June 30. This week, he has a 50-page report to the Council on what he’s done and how Worcester is doing.

The Capital Budget: First note that the capital budget is here and totals $76 million for FY16. The Council will actually vote it as a series of loan orders at the end of the agenda.

Capital budget highlights:

  • Two new fire engines (replacing 9 and 15), totalling $930,000 (with half coming from non-municipal sources)
  • funding to make water fountains at the DCU accessible ($9,600) and to replace the stage lift ($12,000) plus a new commercial popcorn popper ($12,000)
  • multiple new dump trucks (ranging from a 5 ton truck for $170,000 to 1 ton for $55,000) for DPW, all with plows
  • a new cell room wagon ($59,000) for WPD along with $30,000 in forensic unit equipment ($30,000) a universal film scanner ($14,000) and 7 marked ($275,000) and 5 unmarked ($170,000) cruisers
  • an ADA compliant check out station for the library ($20,000) plus new sound systems for the Banx and Saxe rooms ($42,000)
  • upgrading the internet platform ($135,000) and the city wifi ($45,000)
  • a deck grinder (a big wood chipper) ($250,000), a catch basin cleaner ($210,000), and a compressor/vacuum truck ($125,000)
  • $100,000 for new lab equipment for the water treatment plant
  • 1st, 3rd, and 4th floor renovations for City Hall ($140,000)
  • repaving the Senior Center parking lot ($225,000)
  • $500,000 added to $1,000,000 in funding from elsewhere for the Wayfinding Initiative
  • $1 million for abatement for the old Courthouse (plus $3 million from elsewhere)
  • $45,000 to upgrade the entry way vestibule roof for Technical Services
  • $140,000 for the WRA urban renewal plan
  • $6.4 million in street resurfacing (of which $4 million from state funds)
  • $3.2 million for downtown sidewalks
  • funding to begin Nelson Place construction ($2.3 million plus $9.2 million from the state) and plan South High ($150,000 plus $600,000 from the state)
  • $315,000 for technology upgrades for schools (leveraging $5.1 million in federal funds)

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