By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
The Everett City Council on Monday night approved a request to transfer $130,000 from the city’s free cash, also known as Budgetary Fund Balance, to supplement a line item established to make repairs to the Mount Washington Street wall.
The city owned wall has been in need of repair for more than two years, which current City Engineer William O’Rourke said initiated the city’s initial scope of work to repair the wall, and which is going to cost the city more than $1 million. However, in the time since the initial scope of work was developed the wall has continued to deteriorate, requiring additional work that is outside of the original scope.
The additional funding approved unanimously by the Council on Monday night will help pay for that additional work.
O’Rourke took several questions from the Council, despite having only begun working for the city in August and inheriting the project from his predecessor.
According to O’Rourke, the current scope of work and a plan for maintenance and protection of the wall should result in a wall repair “that will last 25 to 35 years.”
However, O’Rourke pointed out that that depends on the city being able to change the way t salts the road and sidewalk near the Mt. Washington wall.
“Concrete walls deteriorate due to the salt spreading,” explained O’Rourke. He has suggested that the use of temporary snow or wind fences will reduce the amount of salt that can come into contact with the wall and eat away at the cement. If the city adopts an annual program for shielding the wall from salting operations, it should extend the life of the new cast in place wall that has been suggested.
City Council President John Hanlon noted that the city began caring for and repairing the wall at Mt. Washington in 1926.