UPDATED: Baker-Polito Administration Announces $2.655 Billion FY22 Capital Plan, Including $17 Million For MassBay Community College

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In full transparency, portion of this report, is a press release from the Governor’s office.

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BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today, June 14, announced its Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Capital Plan, a $2.655 billion plan that makes substantial investments in critical priorities including housing, transportation, climate resiliency, health and human services, and education to promote economic growth and opportunity.

The plan maintains flexibility by supporting existing short, medium, and long-term investments, and funding new initiatives that encourage growth and strengthen the Commonwealth’s communities amid the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan and Secretary of Education James Peyser today at Bridgewater State University to release the FY22 Capital Plan and highlight a major renovation project at the university, which is funded under the capital plan.

The Administration is investing $87 million in five major renovation projects across the Commonwealth’s higher education system. The capital investments at these colleges and universities are focused on strengthening programming that connects students with high-demand fields like STEM and health care, which will remain crucial to the Commonwealth’s economic recovery.

Part of the plan is a $17 million bond for a new health science center for MassBay Community College on Franklin Street in Framingham.

It is scheduled to be built in the lot that was used for COVID-19 testing by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Project Beacon. The lot was owned by Framingham State University/Commonwealth of Massachusetts, But MassBay Community College purchased the land through the Massachusetts State College Building Authority a few months ago.

The $17 million is the Commonwealth’s contribution toward the design and construction of the new building in Framingham, said MassBay spokesperson Liz Cooper.

“We are currently completing the design stage of the project and construction is scheduled to begin in September 2021,” said Cooper. “We are also looking forward to a groundbreaking ceremony in late September 2021, which is our 60th anniversary.”

The grand opening is scheduled for Fall 2023.

The plan also begins implementing the Economic Development Bond Bill and Transportation Bond Bill that Governor Baker signed last year. Through these investments, the plan aims to promote economic growth and strengthen the Commonwealth’s transportation system as more residents return to work. It also funds the Commonwealth’s share of costs for the redevelopment of the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, which the Administration is seeking to augment by applying for federal funds. It provides significant capital investments in all regions of Massachusetts while maintaining the Administration’s commitment to addressing and preparing for climate change and considering the environmental impact and resiliency of its investments.

“As Massachusetts emerges from the pandemic, our FY22 Capital Plan aims to strengthen and modernize infrastructure throughout the Commonwealth in ways that promote opportunity,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These meaningful investments will encourage economic growth and strengthen existing initiatives around housing, climate resiliency, health and human services, and food security – critical priorities that have proven even more important as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.”

“We are continuing to invest in local cities and towns in order to support the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By providing capital funding for education, public safety, information technology, and other infrastructure projects, we can help reinvigorate the economy and ensure Massachusetts has a bright and prosperous future.”

The funding detailed in this FY22 plan will complement the more than $100 billion awarded to Massachusetts residents, businesses, and governments throughout the public health emergency to address both the response and the recovery from the pandemic. The vast majority of this funding has flowed directly to businesses, individuals, non-profits, and unemployment insurance in Massachusetts.

In total, the Commonwealth exercises some level of discretion over approximately $15.6 billion of this federal funding, notably the $2.5 billion in Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars received through the CARES Act. These Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars have supported numerous key priorities consistent with federal guidelines, as for example, $750 million of this funding has been transferred to other governments and $780 million has been allocated for economic assistance.

Also included in the $15.6 billion total is the $5.3 billion in direct federal aid the Commonwealth has received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support a range of initiatives, including infrastructure investments that will leverage municipal funding to maximize impact. ARPA is also providing a total of $3.4 billion in direct aid for municipalities throughout Massachusetts, as well as substantial funding for key priorities including a total of $2.6 billion for housing and economic development initiatives, $1.1 billion for transit, $315 million in child care stabilization funding, and $200 million in Child Care and Development Block Grant funding.

“The Baker-Polito Administration’s fiscally responsible FY22 Capital Plan devotes significant resources toward key areas while also protecting state finances and leveraging other funding sources to achieve the greatest impact with spending,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Michael J. Heffernan. “We look forward to collaborating with key stakeholders as we carry out these capital projects and strengthen infrastructure throughout Massachusetts.”

Framingham is also mentioned in the plan two other times:

  • $1 million for MEMA Infrastructure and Communication Tower Repairs
  • $2.2 million for Framingham District Court – Repairs

The $2.655 billion capital plan is fiscally responsible, demonstrates careful long-term planning, and is informed by numerous factors including the Debt Affordability Committee.

FY22 Capital Plan Highlights:

Transportation

  • The combined MassDOT and MBTA capital plan is funded from a variety of state and non-state sources, and totals approximately $4.0 billion in spending for FY22
  • $200 million for the Chapter 90 Program for local road and bridge repairs
  • $10 million for the Administration’s Municipal Small Bridge Program
  • $10 million for the Complete Streets Program
  • $4 million for the Shared Streets and Spaces Program which was started in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to help municipalities and businesses adapt their operations
  • Funding for programs authorized through the Transportation Bond Bill including the Local Bottleneck Reduction Program, the Municipal Pavement Program, and the Transit Infrastructure Partnership Program

DCAMM

  • Funding for five new major higher education capital projects totaling $1.3 million in spending in FY22 and $87 million in total bond funds awarded including:
  • $300,000 for a renovation project to create a centralized home for the College of Education and Health Sciences Burnell Hall at Bridgewater State University (total state bond investment of $25 million)
  • $300,000 for new and renovated Science Labs at Mass Maritime Academy (total state bond investment of $16.7 million)
  • $100,000 for a partial renovation of labs at the Danvers campus of North Shore Community College to create a Life Science Pathways Center (total state bond investment of $14.1 million)
  • $485,000 for a partial renovation of the Medical School Building at UMass Medical to create collaborative spaces for integrated teaching and learning (total state bond investment of $6.1 million)
  • $150,000 for a renovation at Quinsigamond Community College to create an innovation center for advanced manufacturing and robotics (total state bond investment of $25 million)
  • Planning efforts for a project to construct a new Regional Justice Center in Quincy
  • Funding for the Commonwealth’s share of costs for the redevelopment of the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, a major project to construct a state-of-the-art facility for veterans

Economic Development

  • New and expanded authorizations in the Economic Development Bond Bill which will provide access to capital for underrepresented entrepreneurs, revitalize underutilized properties, improve tourism facilities and destinations, support advanced manufacturing, and encourage regional and industry-specific innovation clusters
  • $94 million for MassWorks to provide municipalities and other public entities with funding for infrastructure projects that promote economic development
  • $35 million for the Life Sciences Capital Program to foster job growth and innovation in the life sciences industry
  • $10 million in Seaport Economic Council Grants

Housing

  • Support for new programs authorized through the Economic Development Bond Bill intended to promote neighborhood stabilization, transit-oriented housing, and climate resilient affordable housing
  • $146 million for the production and preservation of affordable housing including $5 million for housing choice grants.
  • $110 million to support our state-aided public housing portfolio.

Energy and Environmental Affairs

  • $45 million for the Food Security Infrastructure Program, which includes $30 million for grants awarded in the last year, and $15 million for a future grant round
  • $21 million for the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (“MVP”) Program to aid municipalities with climate change vulnerability assessments and planning, and adaptation projects
  • $12.5 million for inland dams and seawalls
  • $3.5 million for Greening the Gateway Cities which has already planted nearly 30,000 trees and has a goal of planting at least 20,000 more trees over the next four years.

Public Safety

  • $5 million for the new Protective Fire Equipment Grant Program which provides direct assistance to municipalities to ensure access to safe and reliable firefighter equipment
  • $4 million for the new Municipal Body-Worn Camera Grant Program
  • Support for the Body Armor Replacement Program which provides a state match for the reimbursement of bulletproof vests by municipalities
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Technology

  • $64.9 million for business applications development
  • $42.1 million for IT technical infrastructure modernization
  • $15.5 million for cybersecurity

Local Cities and Towns

  • $3 million in Community Compact IT Grants which support cities and towns in their efforts to modernize their technological infrastructure
  • $3 million for the new Municipal Fiber Grant Program that is focused on strengthening supports for municipal IT security
  • $2 million for Municipal ADA Grants which fund planning, design, and capital improvements specifically dedicated to improving access and removing architectural barriers for people with disabilities

Education

  • $15 million for Workforce Skills Capital Grants to improve students’ skills and knowledge and better meet the needs of employers in the Commonwealth
  • $4 million for Early Education and Out-of-School Time Grants to improve the indoor and outdoor space at early education and out-of-school time programs in which more than 50% of the children served are eligible for financial assistance

To view the full FY22 Capital Plan, please click here.

editor

email: editor@FraminghamSource.com call or text at 508-315-7176