Baker in Chelsea

Charlie Baker in Chelsea.

Credit: Courtesy of Gov. Baker's office.

Baker Tees Up $2.26B For Big Projects, Including Veterans Home And UMB

May 11, 2017

Gov. Charlie Baker announced a $2.26 billion capital spending plan Thursday which includes new funds to improve care at the 135-year-old Chelsea Soldiers' Home.

Baker said he's planning an $8 million investment to help build a new long-term care facility at the Chelsea veterans' campus, which originally took care of Civil War veterans in the 1880s. Baker said 65 percent of the $199 million total cost of the new facility will be covered with federal funds.

"From affordable and workforce housing to higher education, skills training, transportation and economic development, this capital plan invests in maintaining, modernizing and growing our shared priorities as a Commonwealth," Baker said.

There's good news in the spending plan for UMass Boston, a campus recently beleaguered by budget difficulties and the exit of Chancellor Keith Motley. The plan includes long-term funding for transportation infrastructure projects and $78 million to replace a parking garage on the university's Columbia Point campus.

The Chelsea down payment is part of Baker's long-term spending plan he says will lead to safer communities, better jobs and educational opportunities.

The plan includes $80 million for infrastructure targeted specifically at generating new private sector business.

There's $81 million for MBTA enhancements, $42 million for rail improvements and hundreds of millions for highway roads and bridges.

The capital budget typically spends funds approved by the Legislature though authorized bond offerings, though it's up to Baker's executive branch to implement the projects.

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