commercial tax base, which has helped us maintain lower taxes than surrounding communities.
We must build on this advantage by making Woburn more attractive to new businesses, than other communities that are located along Routes 93 and 128.
We will enact a new streamlined permitting process which will remove unnecessary expense, uncertainty and time delay for businesses while creating more efficiency, consistency and revenue for the city of Woburn
We will work collaboratively to develop the long neglected W.R. Grace and adjacent Buick sites along Washington Street. Thanks to the persistent efforts of a local developer and the City Council, south end residents can expect to see a first class bank and office development at the old Armory site
We will also continue making upgrades to Woburn Center, which began under Mayor Dever. My priority will be to develop more parking and make more efficient and economical use of our existing parking lot.
In addition to promoting new growth in the City, we must also ensure that we take steps to protect valuable open space. We will begin negotiating with Northeastern University to purchase 75 acres of open space on Cambridge Road. I am optimistic that we can structure an agreement that is affordable and at the same time removes a site that represents a potentially disastrous 40B Development with over 300 apartment units.
We will support and expand activities offered by the Woburn Recreation Department. The youth and adult sporting programs in our city are second to none, directed by numerous dedicated volunteers. The city, through its Parks and Recreation Department, will continue to support their efforts. Helping Woburn residents stay physically fit and active will be a trademark of my administration. And we will strive to provide safe clean venues and more activities to accommodate this goal.
We will be sensitive to the needs of senior citizens and continue to help those seniors on fixed income through our tax abatement and senior work programs. I will also continue supporting the excellent services provided to our senior citizens at the Senior Center.
The city has undertaken numerous water and sewer projects and has appropriated over $35,000,000.00 on water and sewer projects since I became an Alderman. Great strides have been made in improving our delivery system and the quality of our drinking water. Yet most families still spend an average of $5.00 per week on bottled spring water. This is unacceptable.