The Everett Common Council voted to approve two major infrastructure projects as amended by the Board of Aldermen the previous week, but indicated that they disagreed with the cuts and signaled they may ask the Mayor to re-submit the parts of the projects eliminated by the cuts under separate appropriations in the coming weeks.
The Council took up motions to approve as amended the Water Main Replacement project and the Roadway Reconstruction project, which the Board of Aldermen had just last week debated and narrowly approved, with cuts to both programs totaling approximately $2.5 million.
The Aldermen’s cuts eliminated $1.5 million from the water main replacement project, which according to Tony Roselli, a finance consultant to Mayor DeMaria, would effectively eliminate all of the money that the Mayor had proposed bonding for the water project. The remainder of the water main funding, $4.172 million will be paid through an interest free loan from Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Roselli also told the Councilors that the $1.5 million would effectively eliminate plans to upgrade the water mains in the area of the Whidden Hospital.
Councilors who favored the entire water mains project, including Council President Daniel J. Napolitano and Councilor Rose DiFlorio expressed their belief in the need for the full complement of water main projects, as part of an on-going infrastructure improvements.
“The city needs to make these investment today, for the rewards tomorrow,” noted Napolitano.
Roselli also told the Council that the city could expect to realize a “savings” of approximately $100,000 per year on the $1 million that was cut from the roadway reconstruction projects and $110,00 to $120,000 per year on the $1.5 million cut from the water main project.
“I don’t feel that $100,000 on a project of this size is a real savings,” noted DiFlorio. “However, rather then send this back to the Alderman or refer it back to committee, I’d urge (my colleagues) to pass this as amended, so that we can get something done now and come back for the other projects later.”
The final votes were 14-2 in favor of the water main project as amended, with Councilors Jason Marcus and Michael McLaughlin voting against the amended project. The Roadway Reconstruction project was passed unanimously.