The big news out of Monday night’s Council meeting, at which the council took four hours to consider the Mayor’s proposed Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for FY 2016, was the Mayor’s bold proposal to spend up to $88 million over the next five years to renovate the old Everett High School on Broadway as a new city center with City hall offices, E 9-1-1 and a new Everett police station.
The proposal was supported by a presentation from the architectural firm Finegold Alexander and Associates, which has been working on the pan since January.
Following his company’s presentation Finegold Alexander Principal Maurice Finegold noted that the plan is “in the concept planning phase right now,” and “we’re under contract to finish the study by July 1 (2015).”
The plan was shared with the Council Monday night, because the CIP included a $3 million request to complete engineering, design, permitting and phasing of the ambitious plan in FY 2016.
City Councilor Michael Marchese moved to eliminate the $3 million request from the CIP, noting that “once we start down this road the cost is just going to escalate,” but that amendment failed 5 to 6 as Councilors McKinnon, Sachetta, Napolitano and Capone voted with him.
Mayor DeMaria answered questions about the proposal and explained that the plan would also clear the way to replace the existing City Hall with a new state of the art Fire Station and promising that virtually all of the proposed plans could be paid with from the new revenues that will be generated by the Wynn casino and resort and without impacting the city’s tax rate,
“I guarantee that the meals and hotels taxes (from the casino project) alone could pay the debt service on this proposal,” said the Mayor.
Meanwhile, Councilor McKinnon noted that the city has not seen any payment from the casino as yet, and cautioned that it might be too early to be planning on how to spend those revenues.