The City of New Bedford is planning to invest $70 million over the next five years to build and repair schools, replacing aging equipment and vehicles and construct a new Public Safety Center in the South End.

The improvements are part of the city's Capital Improvements Program.

Mayor Jon Mitchell made the announcement during a news conference at the main Fire Station.  The Mayor says the new Public Safety Center will house Police Officers from the South End station, plus firefighters from Stations six and 11, and E-M-S personnel.

"What's committed in the first year is money for a feasibility study. We need to figure out where this place will go and how it will interact with the neighborhood, and also some design money to get this project started," said Mitchell.

The Mayor said he will also recommend that the Center be named after former Police Chief David Provencher, who died in December. Provencher had a long career in the Police Department and served as Chief for five years. That decision will be made by the City Council.

The Mayor is asking the City Council to approve a $5.5 million loan order to fund year-one of the Capital Improvements Program.