This past Monday night, Mayor Carlo DeMaria presented the FY2015 Capital Improvement Plan to the City Council. The plan includes a particular focus on asset preservation, replacement of essential apparatus, continued improvements to City infrastructure, and a significant amount of upgrades and improvements to the Everett Public Schools.
The total proposed Capital Plan for the City of Everett for FY15 is $15,028,818. However, the total amount proposed for borrowing is $8,625,000. This year’s CIP will utilize multiple funding sources, including grants and other available funds, free cash, one-time appropriations, and bonding. Over $4 million in capital work will be completed through grants and alternate funding sources. $865,000 will derive from budget appropriations, $1,345,000 from free cash, and $8,625,000 through bond authorization. The list proposed by the Mayor is a scaled down list from departmental requests, with priority given to those projects that are supplemented by grant dollars or any other revenue sources that will keep net general fund expenditures to a minimum. In the forefront of the Mayor’s proposal were the upgrades and enhancements to the Schools.
Of the total fifteen million in proposed projects, $2.8 million dollars has been earmarked for the Schools. The Mayor stressed the importance of the school projects, which include $450,000 for a new roof for the Whittier School, $350,000 for the purchase of district-wide interactive whiteboards (Eno boards), both through anticipated bond authorization, as well as a $2 million renovation and expansion of the Webster School Cafeteria. The Mayor also noted that additional school projects would be included in the remaining years of the five year forecasted CIP, including repointing the bricks and replacing the gutters at the Adams School, repaving the school yard at the Parlin School, and replacing the air conditioning system at the Webster.
The Mayor also brought before the Council an agenda item regarding the construction of a new school. At the request of the School Committee, the Mayor introduced a statement of interest to send to the Massachusetts School Building Authority proposing the construction of a new school. Based on population projections and operational analysis, the School Department has indicated that it is essential that a new school is construction for the City of Everett in order to avoid overcrowding.
“Monday night I asked the City Council to join me in paying particular attention to the current needs of our school system. Nothing matters more than our children, it is imperative that we complete these capital projects and approach the State about the construction of a new school. I hope that the Council will agree and help me deliver the best possible resources and educational environments for our youth.”