In accordance with the City Charter, Mayor Carlo DeMaria officially submitted the Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Year 2015 to the City Council at their meeting most recent meeting this past Monday night.
This year’s capital improvement package focuses on asset preservation, replacement of apparatus and machines, and the continued improvement to City infrastructure. Projects include essential infrastructure updates, such as street and sidewalk reconstruction, the refurbishment of city-wide Tot Lots, and repairs to City buildings including City Hall and the Hancock Fire Station. Also in the plan are significant equipment and vehicle purchases for City Services, ISD, Police, and Fire Departments, and long overdue City information technology upgrades for both hardware and software.
The total proposed Capital Improvement Plan for the City for FY15 is $15,028,818, with only $8,625,000 proposed borrowed funds. The CIP has multiple funding sources, including grant funds, free cash, operating fund appropriations, and bonding. Over $4 million in capital work will be completed through grants and alternate funding sources. $865,000 will derive from budget appropriations, $1,345,000 from free cash, and $8,625,000 through bond authorization.
Infrastructure improvements in the plan include the renovation and replacement of the deteriorating retaining wall on Mt. Washington Street, driveway and parking lot repairs at the Connolly Center, maintenance and refurbishment of Tot Lots, the renovation of Day Park, and the renovation and expansion of the snack hut at Sacramone Park, and a $3.5 million overhaul of the Hancock Fire Station. Continued street, sidewalk, and crosswalk reconstruction will also be included, as scheduled per the pavement management program, and funded through both bond authorization and Chapter 90 monies.
The Mayor noted that this year’s CIP also included the replacement of essential Fire, Police, and City Services’ vehicles and equipment. Fire Department requests include command, mechanic, and hazmat vehicles. These vehicles were selected as part of the vehicle replacement policy, followed in order to maintain safety and keep costs for repairs to a minimum. In addition, fifty-seven sets of self-contained breathing apparatus for the EFD are also requested.
The Police Department has requested administrative, and non- administrative vehicles and two ford expeditions for the Canine Unit as part of the vehicle replacement policy. In order to outfit the police force with weapons for public safety purposes, conducted electrical weapons have been requested.
The City Service Department through the use of free cash, has requested the purchase of a chipper truck, a F350 pick-up truck with a plow, a bobcat, and a Bucket Truck as part of their vehicle replacement policy. In addition to the equipment, City Services is also seeking a gas and vehicle maintenance system in order to improve tracking and accountability and to monitor mileage of City assets.
The goal for technology upgrades is once again reflected in this year’s CIP. Examples include the digitalization of Engineering Department archives, which would allow for greater efficiency and productivity in the workplace while protecting documents. Also included, a proposal to upgrade to the telephone system, which will modernize daily office operations, save substantial money, and better serve the public. As part of the yearly maintenance of computer hardware IT will also replace City technology systems, and to improve accountability and management Human Resources is seeking the addition of an employee time management system.
CIP money is also being allotted to the Libraries, to aid in the renovation of the Shute Library and for maintenance and renovation of the Parlin, and the Everett Public Schools, for projects such as the continuation of purchasing district-wide interactive white boards, replacement of the Whittier School roof, and the renovation and expansion of the Webster School cafeteria.
“Once again our Capital Improvement Plan pays attention to major expenses and updates necessary for the optimum operation of our City, such as equipment purchases and extensive improvements to existing facilities, land and infrastructure,” states Mayor DeMaria, “These improvement projects are essential in that they directly impact the future of Everett. By following this plan we can create a City with improved appearance, increased property values, and first-rate facilities, equipment, and infrastructure; and most importantly, we can do so in a fiscally responsible way.”
The City Council is required to officially hold a public hearing regarding the CIP within two weeks, in order to hear favorable or unfavorable responses from the community at large. Copies of the package will be available online and will be available for viewing at the Parlin Library and the City Clerk’s office.