By Brendan Clogston
Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s $232 million FY19 budget is heading for final approval Monday night. While the council will have the power to make cuts, the promptings of council leadership to make all adjustments in committee makes it likely that it will pass largely as presented, with no more than the few minor cuts already recommended being enacted.
The council’s budget committee held three hearings over the last few weeks, ultimately recommending $285,000 in cuts from the City of Everett portion of the budget. Those cuts were the removal of $100,000 from the Human Resource Department’s unemployment line, and the cutting of $185,000 from the Mayor’s Office’s budget, including a $60,000 cut from 311, $25,000 from the city celebrations line item, and $100,000 from the marketing and business development line item.
No money was cut from the School Department’s budget. The schools are still struggling with their reduced share of state aid, and will likely face approximately 100 layoffs, despite a $6.5 million contribution from the city.
City officials are estimating that this year’s budget will result in an 11 percent increase in taxes. Mayor DeMaria and the City’s CFO have described FY19 as a difficult year for the City of Everett, as expenses increase in anticipation of Encore Boston Harbor’s June 2019 opening while revenue from that project have yet to fully flow into the city’s coffers.
Encore to present final pre-opening payment
Monday’s meeting will also feature the final $12.5 million pre-opening payment by Encore Boston Harbor. As a part of the casino developer’s host community agreement with the city, Encore has paid Everett such checks for the past few years as construction continues at the site. The city has used those funds largely for tax relief.
Once the casino opens in June of next year, a new annual payment will begin at $30 million.