DPW: Buildings & Grounds

City of Somerville FY21 Budget

Mission Statement

To ensure that all public buildings and grounds are safe, clean, and welcoming to all that enter. To provide a comfortable working environment for employees, the Building and Grounds Department provides physical support, custodial and maintenance services, both inside and outside, to over 35 facilities, including eleven schools and 1.7 million square feet of city-owned property. The department also services the city’s 40 parks and open spaces. Among other responsibilities, department staff ensures building safety and the optimal performance of building systems by providing preventive maintenance and repair of mechanical, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and building security systems. The department also performs interior and exterior repairs, maintains dog parks, picks up trash and recycling, provides equipment and staging for events, and clears snow from public buildings and walkways.

Changes from FY20

The FY21 budget proposal includes a 2.0% increase to Personal Services. This is due to changes in salaries for union employees based on collective bargaining agreements. There are currently four vacancies in this division:

  • One SHMEO, reduced by 6 weeks for FY21.
  • One HMEO/PWL, reduced by 6 weeks for FY21.
  • One HMEO/PWL, funded for 50% for FY21.
  • Public Grounds Gardener, funded for 50% of FY21.

These reductions in position funding are based on expected hire dates.


DPW Building & Grounds Ordinary Maintenance budget proposes a reduction of 3.5%. Adjustments were made to right-size the budget in the amount of $260k in several areas such as deferral of Repair & Maintenance, HVAC, Interior/Exterior Buildings that are currently closed to the public.


Services such as Professional & Technical and Moving have also been reduced. Supply lines such as Electrical and Plumbing are anticipated to show reductions in the first quarter and therefore have also been adjusted.


In FY20, preservation of flooring, roofing and window replacements took place in several City & School Buildings and we anticipate being able to defer further work in FY21.


During the FY21 budget process, $50,000 was cut from the Electricity line.

FY21 Budget Proposal

FY21 Positions Listing