Baker-Polito Administration Releases $2.19 Billion Fiscal Year 2017 Capital Budget Plan

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today released the Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) capital plan, including a $2.19 billion bond cap on General Obligation Bonds. Significant resources in FY17 will be invested in affordable and workforce housing, transportation projects and various grant programs to support municipalities across the state. The plan also attracts substantial federal, local, private and other sources of funding, maximizing the leverage of the Commonwealth’s capital resources.

The FY17 capital plan prioritizes projects that maintain and modernize existing assets, and make targeted investments for the future. The process for reviewing and determining which projects were included in this plan was refocused this year to better account for our strategic priorities and maximize coordination across agencies with these three core principles as the foundation.

“The Commonwealth’s Capital Plan is an important tool for funding construction and maintaining capital assets, infrastructure and program investments,” said Governor Baker. “This capital plan makes substantial investments in maintaining and modernizing our transportation network, preserving thousands of affordable housing units, training an already highly-skilled workforce and supporting programs critical to economic development in cities and towns across Massachusetts.”

“This capital plan continues our administration’s commitment to being a reliable partner for cities and towns across the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “In addition to important capital funding for local issues like Chapter 90 transportation funding, vocational skills grants and cultural facilities grants, the Community Compact Program will build upon a successful first year to continue awarding communities who partner with the state to improve local services, IT infrastructure, and various local projects.”

“The capital plan for Fiscal Year 2017 makes many key strategic investments focused on maintaining and modernizing our existing assets and making targeted investments in the future,” said Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, Kristen Lepore. “We are increasing the bond cap by an affordable $65 million to allow us to continue to meet our long-term capital needs that address deferred maintenance needs of our existing portfolio without putting significant strain on our operating budgets.”

The $2.19 billion bond cap represents an affordable 3% increase over FY16 and is consistent with the recommendation of the Debt Affordability Committee. The total capital investment for FY17, after accounting for non-bond cap funding sources, will total over $4 billion. While the plan is due by law on June 30, 2016, the administration is releasing the plan early to provide recipients additional planning time so they can start projects at the beginning of the fiscal year.

Link to the FY17 Capital Message: http://www.mass.gov/bb/cap/fy2017/dnld/fy17capitalplanma.pdf

Link to the full FY17 Capital Plan: www.mass.gov/capital

Projects in the FY17 Capital Plan will:

  • Maintain: 46% of projects in FY17 prioritize maintenance by repairing, reconstructing, or reconditioning existing assets to bring condition or performance to a safe and acceptable level.
  • Modernize: 26% of projects in FY17 renew existing assets to improve functionality, useful life or enhance service, capacity, or performance while limiting the expansion of the state’s asset footprint.
  • Targeted Growth: 28% of projects in FY17 address strategic objectives through creation of select new assets, or increase investment in priority areas to create value without expanding our state asset footprint.

Within the three strategic parameters that guided the development of this year’s plan, the projects funded focus on five major themes:

Taking Care of What We Have

The Commonwealth has many existing assets in its portfolio. The Baker-Polito Administration strongly believes that we must support projects that protect, maintain, and modernize those assets by investing in the deferred maintenance of existing assets to address critical health and safety issues that affect our people and our natural resources.

  • $776 million in bond cap for maintaining and modernizing the transportation network
  • $95 million for identified renovation projects at higher education campuses
  • $90 million to support maintenance at 46,000 local housing authority units
  • $57.3 million for general state facilities maintenance, capital renewal, and energy reserves to fund repair projects and system upgrades at hundreds of state owned facilities
  • $23 million for court repair and modernization projects and ADA compliance and maintenance reserves
  • $10 million to begin preserving 3,300 housing units as affordable housing
  • $10 million to repair and improve inland dams and seawalls
  • $8.5 million for Higher Education critical repairs and ADA compliance maintenance reserves

Enhancing Workforce Skills and Economic Vitality

The plan helps foster a healthy ecosystem for growth, with funding for tools to train a highly skilled workforce, housing access for working families, and reliable transportation networks.

  • $90 million MassWorks grants to municipalities and other local entities
  • $84.6 million in grants towards life sciences, research and development, and advanced manufacturing
  • $49.6 million to support private development of affordable housing
  • $11 million to renovate the largest classroom building at Northern Essex Community College
  • $15 million for equipment grants to vocational schools and community colleges that support developing workforce skills
  • $14 million to create a consolidated student center at Springfield Technical Community College

$8 million to renovate a student center at Holyoke Community College

Engaging and Supporting Communities

The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to serving as a reliable partner for our cities and towns. Complementing the significant level of support we already provide through our operating budgets, including local aid and the Community Compact program, the FY17 capital funding offers additional resources for key local infrastructure initiatives to catalyze renewal, growth, innovation, and development, and to protect natural resources and distinct places.

  • $200 million in Chapter 90 funding
  • $47.7 million in EEA community grant programs to support land protection, coastal resiliency, land use planning and climate change adaptation efforts
  • $10.5 million to support the Complete Streets initiative and the new Small Bridges program
  • $2.5 million for critical coastal infrastructure and pollution remediation
  • $2 million for Community Compact grants across the Commonwealth
  • $2 million to continue the Greening the Gateway Cities initiative
  • $1 million for municipal projects to increase accessibility and comply with ADA regulations
  • $350,000 to purchase body armor for municipal police departments

Optimizing the Value of Our Investments

The capital plan leverages significant outside resources from federal, local, private and other sources to multiply the impact of its contributions in key policy areas and maximize return on investments.

  • $407 million of state bond cap dollars paired with $504 million through the Federal Aid Highway Program to maintain and modernize state highways
  • $30 million from the state to continue dredging Boston Harbor, coupled with $240 million from MassPort and the federal government over four years
  • $10 million from the state to preserve 13A properties as affordable or workforce housing, with a matching investment from MassHousing to fund the workforce tier
  • $750,000 in state dollars dedicated to the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home project. This project is expected to cost $120 million, of which 65% of the estimated cost of construction will be reimbursed by the federal government.

Driving Government Performance

Investments in this year’s plan support improving performance of critical infrastructure for the public, delivering better state services, and increasing the efficiency and functionality of projects consistent with agencies’ core missions.

  • $36.5 million to modernize information technology systems and enhance user experience at the Department of Revenue and the Registry of Motor Vehicles
  • $39.2 million dedicated towards investments that will reduce energy consumption in state buildings
  • $13 million to replace 315 state police cruisers and associated data terminals
  • $55 million to maintain and improve pools, parks, and rinks across the Commonwealth

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