The Boston Herald is reporting Mayor Michelle Wu vetoed City Councilor Frank Baker’s amendment to use federal relief money for a Dorchester fieldhouse but did approve the rest of the $362 million package.
The mayor signed off on more than $344 million in general recovery funds that went to various city initiatives focused mainly around housing, in addition to $17 million for COVID-19 pandemic efforts.
This money all came from the American Rescue Plan Act bill passed by the federal government last year. The money will be spent over three years.
Wu wrote in a letter to the city clerk stating the partial approval and the reason for the vetoed portion for $5 million in funding for the fieldhouse.
“The reason for my disapproval is that the portion of the City of Boston’s allocation of these one-time ARPA funds to be spent on capital projects will be used for public infrastructure with lasting impact rather than to supplement nonprofit capital projects that can access private fundraising.”
According to the Herald, most of the package was supported by the council but things got a little bumpy in June when Baker held hearings about the fieldhouse – a partnership between the Boys and Girls clubs of Dorchester and the Martin Richard Foundation. Baker wanted some of the federal funding to be included for the fieldhouse.
Wu expressed her concerns but Baker did get enough approval from the city council to get the $5 million amendment for the fieldhouse approved.
When the Herald reached out for comment about the veto decision, Baker stated he was “disappointed” with the mayor’s decision.
You can read more about this here.
The $50M proposed fieldhouse will be 75,000-square-foot and built at 317 Mount Vernon Street at Harbor Point. The building will include a playing fields and courts, a walking track and fitness and training rooms, in addition to classroom space, a public cafe, a teaching kitchen and outdoor garden and more. You can learn more here.