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The Planning Department provides technical advice to the Mayor and City Council and undertakes a wide range of projects in order to protect and enhance the quality of life in Waltham. A major responsibility of the Planning Department is the administration of the Federal Community Development Block Grant Program that provides support to low and moderate income residents in the city. Funded with an annual federal grant, the program funds a host of social service programs as well as public improvement projects in income-eligible areas. The Planning Department also coordinates various construction projects from the initial design and funding stages to completion. Projects include neighborhood playgrounds, downtown improvements, the Circle of Remembrance on the Common, and the Veterans Memorial Fields. Other Planning Department functions include preparing a Master Plan to identify and guide appropriate development; aggressively pursuing federal and state grants to supplement the City's budget; and undertaking economic development initiatives to support the business community, strengthen the tax base and expand employment opportunities.