On Monday, August 27th Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. appeared before the Board of Aldermen to seek final approval for the bonding of municipal notes for the first phase of the proposed five-year Capital Improvement Plan. After receiving a unanimous vote by the Common Council, for both the general improvements and those to de done under the Water-Sewer Enterprise Fund, the request received divided opinions by the Board of Aldermen.
The Board was hesitant to agree to the plan in its entirety without further discussion, and therefore split the items, approving the $2.1 Million for the Glendale Park renovations and $500,000 for the Parlin School lintel repairs, but sending the remainder of the projects to the Finance Committee. The majority of the Aldermen recognized the necessity of the timing on both these projects – as the Parlin repairs pose a safety issue to returning students and the Glendale Park construction is aiming for completion to coincide with the High School and local sports organizations’ playing seasons. The Finance Committee met Tuesday, September 4th to further discuss the anticipated street, sidewalk, and crosswalk repairs, renovations to 911, Police and Fire stations, replacement of deteriorated city vehicles, and water main and meter replacements.
The Mayor was pleased that his fellow public officials recognized the importance of the Glendale Park and Parlin School projects and the value that they will return to the City. He remains steadfast in his position, that the remainder of athe projects proposed are also essential to the current and future condition of Everett, and was glad to re-present the information – pointing out the rationale, both operationally and fiscally, of moving forward. With historically low interest rates due to the struggling economy, and the City’s current favorable bond rating, the City can take advantage of these exceptional market conditions and complete these much needed projects with no additional burden to the taxpayer. The short term Municipal Notes for the first phase of the plan will allow the City to raise the revenue needed for the projects while keeping the bottom line of the budget secure. Over the course of the next five to seven years, current debt will be replaced with new debt and the budget line item committed to capital will be phased down. This will allow the annual commitment to stay the same thus keeping taxes stable, while allowing the completion of the projects outlined.
“I understand where the Aldermen are coming from when they say they want to protect the taxpayers,” states Mayor DeMaria, “so do I, that is why I want to steer a responsible long-term vision for this City. So that residents today, along with their children and their grandchildren, see the benefits for years to come. I want to hold on to the loyal residents and businesses who believe in Everett’s greatness, and help give them a City that they can take pride in. Everett is reclaiming the reputation of an attractive place to live and work –let’s continue this momentum and invest in Everett’s future.”
The revisions decided upon in Finance Committee must now be sent back to the Board of Aldermen for another vote at their next meeting on Monday, September 10th.