FY2019 BUDGET: The proposed budget is formally presented to you this evening.
FY2018 Capital Plan: the request for funding for FY18 CIP is before you tonight as a formal transfer for $1.8M of the over $6.9M items identified in the 2018-2022 CIP. These are the highest priority items identified by departments. On May 7th the School Committee voted unanimously to support all of the items presented for the school district.
Fire Stations have been identified in our CIP as needed major upgrades. The Storey Ave. Fire Station has been identified as the higher priority and a feasibility study is needed to prepare an architectural design and estimates costs at $75,000; we would like to issue the RFP in early June.
Streets and Sidewalks: please note an additional $375,000 has been allocated in the CIP request for road repairs, coupled with the previous $300,000 approved by the City Council and our c. 90 state funds of $517,000; we are advancing the highest level of funding to date, $1.19M for road work this year. The Meal Tax allocation of 50% equates to approximately $295,646 is budgeted directly in the DPS Highway budget for FY19. Complete Streets (RFP for consultant assistance at $50,000 issued) and Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funding at $1.2M will also contribute significantly to the much-needed work on our roads and sidewalks. Please hold June 7th at 7PM for the public meeting with MADOT on SRTS.
Draft 5 year Plan for Streets & Sidewalks: Draft Plan was sent to City Councilors last week; I have received feedback to date from two City Councilors and would appreciate your feedback ASAP.
Rt. 113 Storey Ave Paving: I am pleased to report that FTA and MADOT supported my request to complete Storey Ave. road work with the extensive Whittier Bridge project and Interstate 95 work. Work is scheduled to begin on May 20th running through early July. The work will be conducted from 8 PM – 5 AM Sunday through Thursday nights. I-95 off ramps will be addressed first, followed by drainage and then paving.
ROOFS: We have three roof projects that we cannot defer any longer with repair estimates just over $1M. You have the investigative reports by Raymond Guertin of RTG Associates for review. The school roof will be resubmitted for consideration by the MA School Building Authority next year.
Coast Guard Auxiliary Station on Plum Island: This building was conveyed to City in 2002 and then a long-term lease agreement was established with the Coast Guard Auxiliary who utilized the building 1-2 times per month for meetings and trainings. In 2011 it received minor work to make it accessible for use as the PI Ward 1P polling station. The building has a long and rich history in our City and needs significant work. We would like to issue an RFP for a maritime use compatible with the CG Auxiliary that would provide the opportunity for the needed upgrades. The CG Auxiliary recognizes that they have very little funds to upgrade the building and are supportive of the objective to preserve and upgrade the building. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to advance this project.
AG Healey & Project Here: AG Healey attended a middle school Health Class with Jay Murphy who introduced a section of Project Here curricula on substance abuse and making healthy choices. The 8th graders were wonderful to work with and Superintendent Vicarro and Andi Egmont assisted with the group work.
Trash Hauling Contract: We had a follow-up meeting with Mello last week and came to agreement on several contract terms. The draft contract will be discussed in Executive Session at the Board of Health Meeting on Thursday night. There are no changes to the existing customer services and there will be no public comment on this topic at the meeting. To address the complex condominium issues an ad hoc group is being organized by Molly Ettenborough and the Health Department to review existing and best practices and present recommendations to the Board of Health and Mayor.
MMA Mayors Spring Conference: We had the opportunity to meet the new Commissioner of Education Jeff Riley who was the lead in the City of Lawrence school receivership. He has strong insight into the issues regarding funding including the c. 70 formula and special education circuit breaker. He anticipates seeing a major change in funding to schools over the next two years.
The State Senate today adopted a plan authored by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester) that will require, every five years, a comprehensive analysis of the state’s school budget formula and the allocation of resources to school districts. Tarr’s amendment to the bill, an Act Modernizing the Foundation Budget for the 21st Century, S. 2506, stems from a recognition that the state government has not periodically reviewed the so-called foundation budget regularly over the past 25 years as required by the 1993 act. Consequently, it now does not accurately reflect education costs.
May 15th: Annual Peace Day honoring fallen police officers at 8:30AM at the Veterans Memorial in Brown Square
May 16th : Community Conversations with the Youth Commission presenting this year’s result of youth survey and risk behaviors 6 PM in City Hall Auditorium
May 17th: Annual Boy Scout Breakfast & Mayor’s Civic Awards at 7:30 am at the Senior Community Center Marge & Skip Motes, Ann Ormond and Vicki Hendrickson will be recognized
May 17th: IAG at 6:30 PM in the Mayors Conference Room
May 23: 2nd annual IFTAR at the Senior Community Center at 6 PM
May 28th: Annual Memorial Day event beginning with a march from CVS at 10:45 AM to City Hall to the waterfront and Veteran’s Cemetery