PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence Mayor Brett Smiley unveiled a $132-million proposal Tuesday that would allow the city to make significant infrastructure investments over the next two fiscal years.
Smiley’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) focuses on four main categories: public works, public property, public parks and public space. Though the CIP is a five-year plan, Smiley has prioritized a number of infrastructure improvements for the first two years specifically, since the proposal can be amended annually.
“These investments help set Providence on the path to becoming the world-class city it has the potential to be,” Smiley said. “I am incredibly proud to be putting forth a comprehensive plan for the city’s infrastructure aligned with our goals to improve city services and make Providence more climate resilient.”
Smiley said the CIP is based off of responses the city received from the Community Satisfaction Survey, which was completed by hundreds of residents and business owners earlier this year.
The survey revealed that 71% of residents and 69% of business owners are displeased with the condition of the city’s roads and sidewalks. Through the CIP, Smiley allocated $26 million in sidewalk repairs and improving accessibility for those with disabilities. He also set aside $61 million for road maintenance, street repair and street resurfacing over the next five years, as well as $35 million per year for sewers and storm water management.
Other highlights from Smiley’s CIP include $14 million for repairs to Providence City Hall and $25 million to build a new Department of Public Works Complex.
The city’s parks and greenspaces will also see improvements. Smiley has set aside $2 million for water park repairs citywide, as well as $15 million for Roger Williams Park alone. These investments are in addition to the $13 million set aside for the city’s 39 parks and greenspaces over the past year.
Smiley’s proposal includes city matches to federal funding initiatives like the Safe Streets for All grant ($27.2 million grant; $6.8 million CIP match) and enhancements to the Woonasquatucket River Greenway ($6.1 million through various funding; $3.95 million CIP match).
The Providence City Council Finance Committee met to discuss Smiley’s proposal Tuesday night but stopped short of approving it. The Finance Committee plans to continue discussing the proposal at a later date.
If approved by the Finance Committee, the proposal will then head to the full Providence City Council for consideration.
Alexandra Leslie contributed to this report.