By Mayor Martin J. Walsh
This month, I am proud to put forth a budget for the City of Boston that will make Boston a better place to work, live, and raise a family.
At City Hall, we’ve created a plan for our City that will keep Boston financially sound, while making targeted investments towards achieving a thriving, healthy and innovative Boston. Boston’s operating budget totals $3.14 billion, which represents an increase of $143.7 million (or about five percent) over last year’s budget.
What does this mean for you, your friends and family? When we proposed the City’s budget, we did so knowing many in our City rely on the services we provide, whether it’s senior luncheons, homebuying workshops, recovery services or after-school programs for kids. We also funded projects to enhance our culture and identity such as increasing library services in neighborhoods and the Boston’s Artist in Residence program, which brings art to unexpected corners throughout Boston.
Our budget continues to invest in Boston’s strongest asset: our people. The City’s budget is big — that’s why I want to explain how it will affect your neighborhood. Parks and open space investments are a priority in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. A $4.3 million multi-year investment with $1.5 million slated for this year will reconstruct the sidewalk and plaza along Tremont Street from the Visitor Information Center in the Common to the Boylston T Station.
On top of that, $1.46 million over the next few years will be used to repair and upgrade existing pathways in the Boston Public Garden and $1.09 million is going to the Public Garden Lagoon to repair and backfill missing, destroyed and leaking granite surrounding the lagoon. The Boston Common Tadpole Play Lot is also getting a $150,000 investment in FY18 for new play equipment, safety surfacing and site furnishings.
It’s our goal that our local improvements tie in to our ultimate goal of improving the safety, accessibility and sustainability of our city while also making it an enjoyable and affordable place to live and work. The short- and long-term investments are intended to lift up our neighborhoods in ways that take into account the needs and wants of the community. With this budget, we’re preparing our city for the next year, and the years forward.
What’s the next step for the budget? This month, I submitted the City of Boston’s budget to the Boston City Council, where your City Councilor will review the proposed budget. Once the budget is approved, it will go into effect. This is the budget for fiscal year 2018, meaning the budget will take effect in July 2017, and run throughout the next 12 months.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look through the budget proposal, online at budget.boston.gov. Together, I look forward to investing in our neighborhoods, and our people.
Martin Walsh is Mayor of Boston.