The Board of Aldermen in separate votes approved new spending totaling $10,924,825 for a combination of capital improvement projects ($3,272,825) and new water and sewer related projects ($7,652,000) on Monday night.
However, they did not approve the entire request that was made several weeks ago by Mayor Carlo DeMaria, cutting approximately $2,642,942 from the requests and leaving some of the proposed projects in doubt. During debate that took up the largest part of the agenda, the Board decided to go through each of the two requests item by item, choosing to cut some requested project lines and leaving others untouched.
Among the Capital Improvement requests that were debated, the Board ultimately voted to eliminate a request for $200,000 for crosswalk installations and also reduced the line item for roadway reconstruction by 25 percent, on a motion by Alderman Mike Marchese, reducing the appropriation from a request of $3,771,767 to an appropriation of $2,828,825.
However, other requests on that agenda item including $64,000 for sidewalk reconstruction, $250,000 for fire station repairs and a design, $50,000 for stair and wall repairs at the E-911 building and $80,000 for police station repairs were all approved as requested – though several of those requests were approved with some dissenting votes.
The overall dollar figure cut from the capital improvements requests was nearly $1.143 million dollars.
On the water-related projects, the Board nearly killed the entire request on a 4-3 vote against, before approving a motion of reconsideration and then voting to take each request in that item on that request, separately as well.
Ultimately, all of the requested water department projects received some funding, but a recommendation by the Finance Committee to increase the request for water main replacements from $4,172,000 to $5,672,000 was voted down and the initial request of $4,172,000 was approved, representing a $1.5 million cut in the MWRA related project overall. Projects that were approved for the water department and their funding amounts included $3 million for residential water meter replacement; $4,172,000 for water main replacements, $350,000 for water system repairs; and $130,000 for the replacement of a water department vehicle.
During the debate about the MWRA water main replacements funding, Mayor DeMaria informed the Board that the amended request of $5,672,000 was so that the city could tackle important water main projects related to the area near the Whidden hospital and neighborhoods being improved as part of the city’s Community Development Block Grants.
Following the meeting, DeMaria said, “it’s a shame, I really wanted to be able to get that hospital area done,” seemingly indicating that the reduction in that appropriation may result in the project being shelved for now.
Other items before the Aldermen were as follows:
In accordance with the Joint Rules of the City Council, that each meeting shall allow up to ten (10) minutes for public participation and comment prior to commencement of the reading of the communications from the Mayor. – PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AND COMMENT HELD, THERE WERE NO PARTICIPANTS.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM HIS HONOR THE MAYOR
2. Order/s/Alderman Joseph W. McGonagle, as President
Subject to confirmation by the Honorable Board of Aldermen, in conformance with Section 2-31 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Everett, I hereby appoint Brian Dimond to the City Services Commission for a term to end March 2014. – CONFIRMED
3. Order/s/Alderman Joseph W. McGonagle, as President
That the following revolving account be amended in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 44, Section 53E 1/2, in the amounts not to exceed those set forth below, these accounts may be collected and expended by the designated City Officials, for the specified purposes during Fiscal year 2013: Expenditure Purpose: Everett Literacy Program, materials, salaries & supplies. Receipts: Fees, Donations and Grant Funds. Responsible City Officials: Director of Human Services. Current FY13 Limit: $20,000.00. Amended FY13 Limit: $175,000.00. This is due to implementing a fee for the cost of the class. The program purpose would continue to fund salaries, books and supplies for the Everett Adult Learning Center.- PASSED SENT DOWN FOR CONCURRENCE COMMITTEE REPORTS
4 Committee on Licenses Report on a Petition for an Auto Repair-Mechanical License for Guido Mondello D/B/A Bay State Auto Repair, 67 Rear Chelsea Street, Everett, MA. – COMMITTEE REPORT ACCEPTED, PETITION GRANTED.
5 .Committee on Licenses Report on Communication from City Clerk regarding a police report relative to an automobile purchased from ProCars at 152 Ferry Street. – COMMITTEE REPORT ACCEPTED, A SIX (6) MONTH PROBATION PERIOD WAS IMPOSED ON THIS LICENSE.
8. Committee on Rules & Ordinances Report on Ordinance offered by Aldermen Robert Van Campen, L. Charles DiPerri and Joseph McGonagle – To amend the Zoning Ordinances of the City of Everett by deleting in its entirety and inserting new Appendix A Zoning Ordinances for the City of Everett; with a recommendation to refer back to Sponsors to allow the appropriate timeframes for the changes to be made. – COMMITTEE REPORT ACCEPTED, REFERRED BACK TO SPONSORS.
9 Committee on Rules & Ordinances Report on Ordinance offered by Alderman Robert J. Van Campen-That the City of Everett enact a zoning ordinance defining and restricting the proper location and placement of any home-base satellite dish and/or device on one’s property; with a recommendation to grant further time. – COMMITTEE REPORT ACCEPTED, FURTHER TIME GRANTED.
10.Committee on Rules & Ordinances Report on Ordinance/s/Alderman Robert J. Van Campen-That the City of Everett enact an ordinance establishing historic districts in certain commercial areas of the city, including but not limited to Glendale and Everett Squares, as a way to preserve, protect, maintain and improve upon the distinctive characteristics and architecture of the historic buildings located in theses important downtown business centers; with a recommendation to refer back to Sponsor. – COMMITTEE REPORT ACCEPTED, REFERRED BACK TO SPONSOR.
11 Ordinance/s/Alderman Sal Sachetta, as Chairman of Finance and Councilor Sergio Cornelio, as Co-Chairman of Finance
That in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 3, Section 1 of the City of Everett Charter and Chapter 7, Section 7-163 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Everett, the salary for the position of Mayor shall be $115,000.00 annually effective January 1, 2014. All Ordinances or parts of Ordinances in conflict with the foregoing are hereby repealed. (Enrolled in concurrence, sent up for ordainment.) – ORDINANCE FAILED TO PASS.
12. Petition for Lodging House License for the Bill Moore House at 76 Norwood Street from Caritas Community, Inc. (8/27 Granted and sent Assessors for written response this meeting on the amount of fees paid.) – COMMUNICATION ACCEPTED.
13. Petition for Lodging House License for the Hancock Hotel at 19 Hancock Street from Caritas Community, Inc. (8/27 Granted and sent to Assessors for a written response back on the amount of fees paid.) – COMMUNICATION ACCEPTED.
14. Resolution/s/Alderman Robert Van Campen
That the Mayor and his staff appear before the Board of Aldermen to explain further increases to water and sewer rates which have recently been presented to the City Services Commission, notwithstanding the most recent substantial increase in water and sewer rates. (8/27 Referred to Mayor and Chief of Staff to provide written response this meeting on total increases since inception of water/sewer enterprise.) – LAID ON TABLE TO NEXT MEETING