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  • Malden High graduates 446 at Macdonald Stadium

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  • Mayor submits $227 million FY18 budget

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
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News

Friends of Rep. Paul Donato

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Everett was well-represented at a reception in honor of Rep. Paul Donato (D-Medford, Malden) with invited guests, former State Rep. and current Councillor-at-Large Wayne A. Matewsky, local businessman Sal Sacro and his wife, Patricia, and former Mayor and present Councillor-at-Large John Hanlon. The event was a huge success with hundreds of people who packed the Montvale Plaza in Stoneham.

 

 

Colametas Celebtrate 60th

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Joseph and Marion Colameta, lifelong residents of Everett, recently celebrated their 60th anniversary at a gala party with family and friends. Top photo shows Mayor DeMaria and his wife, Stacy, presenting the loving couple with an official City of Everett citation of congratulations. The Colametas have five children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

 

   

Mayor submits proposal for Urban Renewal Plan

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Will highlight the City’s vision for Everett Square

On Monday, May 8, the DeMaria administration submitted a $125,000 proposal to the City Council to develop an Urban Renewal Plan (URP) for Everett Square. The anticipated Everett URP will examine the area located near Broadway (Route 99) and extending from Revere Beach Parkway and Sweetser Circle to the Parlin School. The study area is a mix of commercial buildings, civic institutions and residences. Municipal buildings in the area include City Hall, Central Fire Station, Parlin Memorial Library and the Everett Post Office.

Mayor Carlo DeMaria stated, “My administration will work with our city officials and community stakeholders to develop a viable strategy that builds upon past work, including the recently completed Everett Square Study. The plan will highlight our ambitious future vision for the area, and identify implementation tools for the realization of that vision.”

Acting through the Everett Redevelopment Authority (ERA), the administration proposes to implement steps to revitalize the URP area by integrating land use and infrastructure planning to create market demand and address the issues hindering redevelopment. The Everett Square URP will examine a balance of land use and public realm initiatives to foster the study area’s development as a destination for residents, workers and businesses, and create a sense of place within Everett. The purpose of the URP is to formulate a blueprint that adapts to challenging conditions the general economic and physical landscape.

The URP will also integrate market considerations at the local level and will include a greater emphasis on traffic circulation, infrastructure improvements, zoning, land use, and redevelopment opportunities.

The proposal was referred to the City Council’s Committee on Ways and Means.

 

   

Mayor submits $227 million FY18 budget

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At a joint session of the City Council and School Committee on Monday, city officials got their first look at Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s $227,398,677 FY18 budget. City Auditor and Chief Financial Officer Eric Demas presented the budget to the council, filling in for Mayor DeMaria, who could not attend the meeting due to a “pressing matter” which came up at the last minute.

According to Demas, while the budget total appears to be significantly larger than previous year’s budget (which came in at $205,569,572), this is largely because the city is now including state and county chargebacks in its totals, which the city had always paid (typically through state aid) but had not previously accounted for in its budget totals.

Under the proposed budget, the city would levy $100,371,904 in property taxes, leaving an excess tax capacity of just under $9 million below the city’s levy limit of $109,258,479. The city levied $98,197,960 under the FY17 budget.

The remainder of the budget will be funded through other revenue sources. The city is anticipating that it will receive $10,279,000 in local receipts, $73,500,817 in state aid, $18,127,319 in Enterprise Fund Revenue and $14,500,000 from “other financing sources.”

City expenses under the proposed budget total at $56,586,185 comprise:

General government expenses: $6,951,286

Public Safety: $31,989,717

City Services: $11,839,271

Human Services: $3,797,492

Libraries and Recreation: $2,008,419

The School Department foundation budget is $92,101,035, though after subtracting chargebacks to the city for shared expenses and adding $4,600,000 for special education transportation, the true total School Department budget comes to $74,685,290.

The City also has fixed costs totaling $51,688,898, comprised of the following:

Retirement assessment: $14, 431,080

Employee insurance: $20,853,473

Federal Insurance Contributions (FICA): $1,415,294

Employee injuries: $702,000

Property and liability insurance: $1,626,563

Debt service: $12,660,488

According to Demas, the city’s financial health is strong. Standard & Poor’s recently issued a bond rating for the city of AA+, the second-to-highest rating. There is currently $7,590,008 in the city’s Stabilization Fund, $2,521,865 in its Capital Improvement Stabilization Fund and 3,484,186 in its OPEB Liability Trust, and the city will soon receive 12.5 million from Wynn Resorts towards its Community Enhancement Stabilization Fund.

Two public Budget Committee meetings have been scheduled, both of which will be held in the council chambers on the third floor of City Hall. The school budget will be reviewed on Wednesday, May 31 at 6 p.m., while the city budget will be considered on Saturday, June 3 at 8 a.m. The Budget Committee is expected to report out to the full council on Monday, June 12. The hearings will be televised.

Copies of the budget are available on the city’s website, in the city clerk’s office and at the Parlin Library.

   

City revokes TIF agreement with Exelon Mystic plant

After months of hushed discussion on the matter, on Monday the City Council voted unanimously in a special meeting requested by Mayor Carlo DeMaria to prematurely decertify and revoke the City of Everett’s 20-year Tax Increment Financing Agreement (TIF) with the Exelon Mystic Generating Station on Alford Street. Much of Monday’s meeting was conducted in “executive session,” a procedure in which the council may privately discuss a matter which relates to “ongoing litigation” involving large sums of money. Upon emerging from the session, the council voted 9-0 to decertify the agreement with no further discussion.

Councillor-at-Large John Hanlon was absent from the meeting; a seat occupied by Councillor-at-Large Michael Mangan, who resigned, and expected to be filled by former Councillor Cynthia Sarnie next week, currently remains vacant.

Councillors have been reluctant to comment or provide details on the issue. In a statement, Mayor Carlo DeMaria said simply that he felt decertifying the agreement “was in the best interest of the City.” Several councillors spoke after the meeting about how Exelon “wasn’t doing its part” under the agreement, but could not divulge any details.

It has been a common subject of conversation in the city for some time; however, that a number of construction projects have occurred at the site which have added value to the property, with no corresponding increase in Exelon’s payments to the City of Everett under their payment formula.

Exelon officials maintain that they have complied with the agreement since its inception. “Exelon and prior Mystic Plant owners have made all payments to and for the benefit of the City of Everett that were negotiated in the original TIF agreement, have paid all taxes due under the TIF, and have complied with all other conditions of the TIF over the past 16 years,” said Exelon Vice President of Public Advocacy Marshall Murphy in a statement. Murphy also indicated that Exelon will “continue to address this legal matter and values its collaborative and cooperative relationship with Everett.”

But Monday’s vote is not the end of the matter. While it signaled the city’s desire to leave the agreement and started the process, the issue will still have to go before the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council for the decertification to be official.

The City’s TIF agreement with Exelon (technically with the owners of the Mystic Generating Station, which has been shuffled between a number of corporate owners in the last two decades, including two distinct stints as owners by Exelon) was first approved in 1998 and went into effect in 2000. Without Monday’s vote, it would have remained in place until at least June 30, 2020. The 20-year term of the agreement was the maximum length of such agreements allowed by the state.

In the late 90s, the station’s current owners, Sithe Energies (acquired by Exelon in 2003) undertook a $604 million project to demolish the site and construct a new natural gas plant. In the midst of this project, Sithe negotiated a TIF with the City that promised to create 1,100 construction jobs and 35 permanent full-time jobs, in exchange for a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement with the City. Under this agreement, the company paid $1.5 million to the City in 2000, as well as a one-time, $1 million contribution to the refurbishment of the Central Fire Station.

   

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