The City dropped its $196.6 million budget proposal on the City Council Monday night, with some $81 million of that going to the School Department – the largest expenditure within the proposed City Budget.
Everett Chief Financial Officer Eric Demas addressed the City Council and School Committee during a brief Joint Convention Monday night, the purpose of which was to deliver the budget and report on the city’s fiscal health to the Council, as required by the City Charter.
The Council accepted the budget and referred it to the Committee on Budget a Committee of the Whole, and then voted to schedule several public meetings to review the budgets with department heads.
According to Demas, who presented the budget and fiscal presentation on behalf of Mayor Carlo DeMaria, the FY 2019 budget is proposed to spend approximately $196,663,093 on city services and schools, with a budget of approximately $19 million in Enterprise accounts, such as the Water and Sewer Enterprise, on top of that.
Demas told the Council that the City is overall in good fiscal health, with bond rating agency Standard & Poor a rating of AA+ and a “stable financial outlook.”
Demas also pointed to the City’s strong cash reserves, including reserve accounts for Stabilization Fund, OPEB Liability Trust Fund, Capital Improvement Stabilization and Community Enhancement Stabilization, as well as a strong free cash balance as certified by the State Department of Revenue.
“The City has proven to have sound fiscal policies and reserves,” said Demas.
In explaining the outlook for the current fiscal year, Demas further explained that the city anticipates raising $113,651,328 through local property taxes with another $118,615,082 in additional revenues coming from state aid, local receipts, grants, and the Encore Boston Harbor (formerly Wynn Resort) mitigation package.
This year’s $12.5 million payment from Encore is expected to come in June, with next year’s payment being much larger next June when the casino opens its doors.
On the expense side of the budget, Demas outlined for the Council a spending plan that included $59,435,583 for City-provided services such as General Government, Public Safety, City Services, Human Services and Library and Recreation services. Another $81,380,955 was proposed for spending on Everett Public Schools and $55,846,555 for City fixed costs, such as retirement contribution, employee insurance and other benefits and debt service on past borrowing.
The Committee on Budget meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. on June 4, 6 p.m. on June 6 and 6 p.m. on June 13.
The City Budget has to be approved by June 30, and the new budget year begins on July 1.