New Bedford Mayor to Focus on Roads in $8 Million Plan
NEW BEDFORD — Road repairs and other infrastructure improvements in New Bedford will be front and center in a proposed $7.85 million capital spending plan this year, according to a Monday release from Mayor Jon Mitchell's office.
Mitchell has asked the city council to approve the nearly eight-million-dollar loan as part of New Bedford's Capital Improvement Program, a rolling five-year plan that sets spending priorities.
This year's plan includes $3 million to maintain New Bedford's roads and sidewalks, the largest proposed spending item in the proposal.
Other items include $2.3 million for the City Yard Campus project, $750,000 to bring the Zeiterion Theater up to code, and $690,000 for renovations and deferred maintenance at the Buttonwood Zoo.
Another $600,000 would go to renovating the bathrooms at city hall, as well as to improvements for the building's 117-year-old elevator.
Last year's Capital Improvement plan cost the city just over $11 million, and also included $3 million for road repairs — but most of the items were approved following a brief delay.
This year's proposed capital plan takes inflation and other rising costs into account, according to the mayor's office.
It would also see funding allocated for renovations to the Hillman Street complex and upgrades to the South Public Safety Center Annex and the city's Mobile Command Center.
Mitchell called the five-year plan "a key component in our efforts to demonstrate responsible fiscal management to rating agencies and investors" that he said helped the city earn "a stable AA- bond rating since 2014."
The current Capital Improvement Program allocates $166.3 million in spending on projects from Fiscal Years 2023 to 2027.