The Everett City Council deliberated for nearly four hours Monday night over a $25,317,500 Capital Improvement Plan proposed by Mayor Carlo DeMaria.
The Council ultimately voted to approve a total of $24,457,500 in capital spending requests including $3 million for the first phase of an ambitious new plan to reuse the old Everett High School on Broadway as a new City Hall and Everett Police Station (see related story), more than $3 million in new city vehicles and equipment, nearly $5 million for parks and recreation facilities and a new $1.2 million ladder truck for the fire department, which won’t fit in either of the existing fire stations.
During the four-hour debate over the CIP councilors took turns asking department heads and Mayor DeMaria’s office questions about virtually every line item in the proposal, and several motions to amend various line items were advanced, but only to such amendments were ultimately approved by the full council.
The first was to cut a request for $1 million from the Planning Department, intended for planning future property purchases for new open space. That line item was eventually cut by $800,000 to just $200,000.
The second approved amendment eliminated one of two requested new dump trucks for the City Services Department, at a cost of $60,000. The department did well overall though, as $1,930,000 was approved for new city services vehicles and equipment.
The vast majority of the proposed CIP spending would be bonded by the city over the course of the next fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2015. In all, $19,897,500 is proposed to be bonded in FY16 for Capital Improvements.
However, each of those bond issues will have to come back before the City Council in order for the funds to actually be borrowed and spent.
The Council’s vote on Monday night only accepted the majority of the Capital Improvement Plan, it did not ensure that the Council will vote to fund that plan at a later date.
In fact, the council has in the past rejected portions of a previously approved Capital Improvement Plan, when it came time to actually fund the projects or make purchases.