E.P. Council considers Fiscal Year 2022-23 Capital projects budget

Administration proposes some $3.1 million in expenditures

By Mike Rego
Posted 10/3/22

EAST PROVIDENCE — The City Council, at workshop held the last week of September, took its first in-depth look at the $3,131,725 Fiscal Year 2022-23 Capital expenditures budget as proposed by …

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E.P. Council considers Fiscal Year 2022-23 Capital projects budget

Administration proposes some $3.1 million in expenditures

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The City Council, at workshop held the last week of September, took its first in-depth look at the $3,131,725 Fiscal Year 2022-23 Capital expenditures budget as proposed by the administration of Mayor Bob DaSilva.

Continuing on the multi-year, $10 million plan approved by the council seated in the fall of 2018, the administration is proposing $1 million to repair the “deteriorating” roads throughout the city. The administration is estimating the FY22-23 allocation as being the first of $5 million total to complete the endeavor over the next five years.

Department of Public Works Director Dan Borges said approximately $600,000 remains in the road repair budget as approved back in 2018. He said the $1 million proposed for the next fiscal year “would go very quickly.”

The effort to combat what he referred to as the “deplorable” condition of East Providence’s roads at the time was actually started by then Ward 3 Councilor Joe Botelho back in 2017.

Botelho initially wanted to devote the entirety of a line item devoted to synchronizing the city’s fiscal year budget with the state to roads. His colleagues then were hesitant, based in part on the pending new East Providence High School referendum, and decided to seed the road repair project with $2.5 million. In 2018, however, with the synchronization topic basically by that point off the table, the council earmarked the $10 million total.

More DPW requests
Asked about the proposal to purchase two “Bobcat” vehicles, including snow blower attachments, at a total cost of $165,000, Borges reiterated the explainer notes that apparatus were “necessary equipment for the purpose of maintaining sidewalks in the winter.”

The director estimated there are 4-6 miles of state-owned sidewalks, like on Pawtucket Avenue, that often fall on the city to maintain. He said the snowblower attachments make the vehicles much more efficient, especially when dealing with snowstorms of significance.

Also from DPW, in response to an inquiry by Ward 4 Councilor Ricardo Mourato about the status of the gazebo project at Willett Pond, Borges said the city is still awaiting Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management approval.

The director said it is taking longer than usual because the city is changing the adjacent parking lot from traditional black top to pervious pavement to help with water quality

Borges added the city is planning to purchase the gazebo in the coming months so to have it ready when approvals are issued.

EPFD requests
The administration also suggested using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for use of purchasing two new fire trucks each at a cost of $200,000: Replacement of Engine 4 (Foam Pump & Roll) and the frontline Engine 5 which was purchased in 2007 and is currently 15 years old. According to industry standards this should be in reserve status.

Current Ward 3 Councilor Nate Cahoon questioned the use ARPA, calling it potentially “short-sighted.” He suggested the federal funding should be used for something like what the city of Denver, Colo., is doing, where it is attempting to lure start-up businesses into empty store fronts by paying rental fees for a period of time.

The gathering being only a workshop, the council took no action on any of the items. Any approvals will take place as part of the public hearings on the budget scheduled over the next few weeks or at meetings with Capital items included on the agenda during the next fiscal year. 

Full Capital budget
The complete list of FY22-23 Capital budget items is as follows:

Fire Department
Final Lease Payments for Ladder Truck - $209,755. The final two annual payments for the lease of a new ladder truck are due in 2023 and 2024.
Replacement of Engine 4 (Foam Pump & Roll) - $200,000. This was partially funded in the 2022 Capital Budget and is a continuation of the cost to replace Engine 4.
Replacement of Engine 5 -$200,000. Replacement of the current frontline Engine 5 which was purchased in 2007 and is currently 15 years old. According to industry standards this should be in reserve status.
Planning & Economic Development
Tree Planting - $50,000. These funds would be used to plant trees throughout the City.
Public Art - $50,000. These funds would be used for public art improvements and installations as well as the cost of pieces of art from artists.

Department Of Public Works
Engineering
City Road Improvements - $1,000,000. These funds would be spent on continued improvements to roadways throughout all areas of the City. Many city roadways are deteriorating and need repairs to prevent damage to vehicles or pedestrians. The total estimated cost is $5,000,000 which will be spread over the course of five years.
Highway
Salt Brine System - $90,000. This funding is to purchase a salt brine system which is an alternative to rock salt road pretreatment for roadways. This will allow for a more efficient treatment of roads in the future.
Repair Catch Basin - $20,000. These funds would be used to repair the catch basin truck frame and body that has rotted over the years. The rest of the truck still in good condition.
Parks
2 Bobcat Articulating Loader w/ Snow Blower and Trailer for tow - $165,000. These funds would be used to purchase two bobcats and the necessary equipment for the purpose of maintaining sidewalks in the winter.
48-inch Scag w/ Bag System - $10,000. These funds would be used for the purchase of a new lawn mower to supplement the existing fleet. This will be a smaller mower to gain better access to smaller harder to access areas.
Ride-On Spreader - $18,000. These funds would be used for the purchase a new spreader to replace old equipment past its useful life. The spreader is used for granular fertilizer application.
John Deere Tractor - $45,000. These funds would be use to purchase a new tractor to accompany the beach comber as well as other park tasks.
Beach Comber - $50,000. These funds would be sued to purchase a beach comber to clean and maintain city beaches.
Tow Behind Seeder - $20,000. These funds would be used to purchase a tow behind seeder which is a machine used to spread grass seed on city fields. Owning this piece of equipment would eliminate the need for outside contractors.
Landscape Trailers - $5,000. These funds would be used for the purchase of new landscape trailer to replace old trailers past their useful life
Kettle Point Ramp ADA - $50,000. These funds would be used to make accessibility improvements to the park and pier at the Kettle Point Park. Currently certain areas of the park need to be improved to meet ADA guidelines.
Public Buildings
Weaver House - Exterior Repairs - $120,000. These fund would be used to complete repairs to the exterior of the Weaver House Building on Grove Avenue.
City Hall HVAC Upgrades - $70,000. These funds would be used to make repairs to the existing HVAC system at City Hall.
Citywide Gutter Repairs - $30,000. These funds would be used for the maintenance of gutters throughout buildings city wide.
Pierce Field Repairs - $25,000. These funds would be used to repair dugouts and other existing assets at Pierce Field.
Bathroom at Pierce Field Concession Stand - $75,000. These funds would be used to construct a bathroom at the Ann Glover concession stand at Pierce Field.
Central Garage
AC Machine- $8,500. These funds would be used to puchase a new AC machine to replace the old machine which is beyond its useful life.
Tire Rim Machine - $10,000. These funds would be used to purchase a new tire rim machine to replace the old machine which is beyond its useful life.
Tire Balancer Machine - $7,500. These funds woud be used to purchase a new tire balancer machine to replace the old machine which is beyond its useful life.
Refuse/Recycling
Recycling Center Check-in Building - $10,000. This funding to be used for a small structure for the recycling center.
New Roll-off Container for Disposal - $20,000. This funding is to purchase a new roll-off dumptser to replace the old equipment which is beyond repair.

Police Department
Police Station Boiler Replacement - $140,000. This funding is to replace the existing, natural gas-fired, cast-iron sectional, hot water boiler located in the Police Station's Mechanical Equipment Room with two (2) natural gas-fired, condensing hot water boilers.
Animal Control HVAC/Water Heater - $85,000. This funding is for the installation of two package heating and cooling units with new exhaust fans with building management controls and a new water heater.

Treasury
New Office Carpet - $10,000. This funding is to purchase a new carpet which is over 30 years old and in need of replacement.

Senior Center
Window Replacement - $187,970. This funding is to replace windows in the old part of the Senior Center which was the original Providence Country Day School. This area has the original windows which need replacing.

Carousel
Stabilization Phase 2 - $150,000. Phase two of the carousel's stabilization includes replacing the carousel's center bearing and top bearing. The bearings are worn and no longer functioning as designed in 1895. The City will be applying for a matching grant from the State Historic Preservation.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.