City meals tax brings more than expected

Local receipts from the recently increased city’s meals tax have actually come in higher than forecasted, Common Councilors were told at their Monday night meeting. Originally, city officials had forecasted additional revenues at $240,000 for the first year but receipts actually totaled $275,000.

The added meals tax was originally approved in August 2009.

Councilor Anthony Ranieri had questioned whether Everett was receiving all the proceeds from the added sales tax. He questioned if a restaurant operating in Everett with a business address in Saugus would be receiving the proceeds or would the Town of Saugus.

Melissa Murphy from Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s office told the councilor that all tax receipts would be going to where the business operated not to a billing address.

The local meals tax added .75 percent to the bill at a restaurant. At the time of passage DeMaria had told the councilors that this would add only pennies to the average bill. Wow do the pennies add up. (See item 9)

Beacham St

Sewer repairs

Common Councilors voted to approve an appropriation of $3.5 million for a downsized sewer construction project in the Behan and Beacham Street area.

Last week the Board of Aldermen had voted to do the minimum repairs on the sewer line that resulted in a $2 million decrease in the money that was being sought by DeMaria.

Under the specifications of the scaled down version, new sidewalks and street sewer drains as well as the complete repaving of the pot holed street will not be addressed at this time.

The city has been cited to fix the non-performing sewer system or pay a daily fine.

Work will begin in the spring of 2011 and is expected to be completed by the fall. Traffic is not expected to be seriously impacted. (See item 5)

Early retirement


Common Councilors voted to approve an Early Retirement Incentive Plan for city employees. Under the state plan, employees must be within three years of the 20 year minimum service and/or at age of no less than 52 to qualify for this program.

According to Melissa Murphy of the Mayor’s office, city officials expect that the city will save a considerable amount of revenue with the retirements. Also an employee’s accrued sick time and vacation time would not be included in the formula to qualify for taking part in the plan.

Under the plan, the retirees will not be eligible for unemployment benefits and there can be no more than a 30% re-hiring rate in the first year, which means that if 10 employees retire then the city can not hire more than three new employees. (See item 4)

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