After weeks of postponing the vote to accept or deny the Annual Appropriation Budget for the Fiscal Year of 2013, the city budget was finally approved by the Board of Aldermen at the last meeting.
The final budget totaled $140,308,594, and the amended budget was reduced by $259,968, which came from the Salaries Account and Unemployment Compensation Account. Members were in accordance that this budget season has been unusual, but that can be attributed to council members struggling with making political decisions versus the right decisions for the city of Everett and its citizens.
Alderman Robert Van Campen voiced his opinions on the budget, noting the $21 million increase in the past four years.
“I want next year’s budget committee to understand what that means. There’s been a $12,000 increase per day since 2009. A no vote does nothing more than put the city in a financial crisis. We need to look at ways to address increases,” he said.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria, who was in attendance, addressed the council’s concerns.
“The increase is correct,” he said.
“We’re just trying to get these issues resolved to have a clearer communication. The infrastructure in the city is poor, but we get things done. Nobody’s happy with the taxes, but taxes equal services. I think we have a great master plan.”
DeMaria was also on hand to discuss the grant application for the reconstruction and renovation of Sacramone Park.
The field, used as the site for little league games, as well as the basketball court are in serious need of improvement, and through the PARC Grant Program, Everett would be eligible to receive up to 66 percent of the total park renovation costs back from the state of Massachusetts (not to exceed $400,000).
The current estimated cost of the project hovers near the $1 million mark, so whatever costs the grant does not cover would need to be bonded from the Capital Improvement Plan.
“You and I differ on a lot of things,” Board of Alderman President Joseph McGonagle said to DeMaria, “butI am in complete agreement that the field is in dire need of repairs. A lot of soccer is played on that field.”
When it comes to Everett’s youth, DeMaria and the council members have a hard time saying no, like any parent faced with a decision that would be beneficial to his or her child. The resolution passed, and once the application process has been accepted or denied, the city will move forward with design and reconstruction plans.
Until then, the Board of Aldermen will be enjoying the summer months with a break from meetings for the months of July, August and September. Exceptions include a Board of Aldermen meeting on Monday July 30, August 27, and September 24.
Those items on the agenda that weren’t voted on will be presented at the next meeting.