By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
The Everett City Council in three votes approved a total fiscal year 2018 spending package of $212,885,817 for the city of Everett fiscal year that begins July 1, 2017.
The breakdown of the three budget pieces included $183,310,997 for the FY 2018 operating budget, $18,127,320 for the FY 2018 Water & Sewer Enterprise budget and $11,447,500 for the FY 2018 Capital Improvement Plan budget.
Following Committee of the Whole budget hearings on May 31 and June 3, the Councilors offered no comment of discussion of the budget during Monday night’s session, essentially accepting their own recommendation as a Committee of the Whole on the Budget and approving the budget that had been presented to them by Mayor Carlo DeMaria.
In another budget related measure, the Council also voted unanimously to adopt an OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) Trust, as outlined in the state’s municipal modernization act.
The adoption of the Trust will not effectively change the way that the city appropriates money to offset the outstanding OPEB liability, but will give the city a new layer of showing is commitment to managing that OPEB liability in the future.
According to Chief Financial Officer Eric Demas, the new OPEB Trust will have a Board of Trustees including the Mayor, Council President, Chief Financial Officer, and Human Resources Director with the Mayoral Chief of Staff as an ex officio member.
The Council will continue to appropriate finding to the existing OPEB Liability Stabilization Fund and a small portion of that funding will eventually also be put into the OPEG Trust, the difference is that once it is in the Trust, the Mayor and Council will not have the ability to dip into that Trust to manage any other economic hardships that may arise. Once funds are appropriated, or transferred to the Trust, they can only be used for the purposes of offsetting the OPEB Liability, as directed in the articles of formation.