By Josh Resnek
It was as usual an academy award winning performance by the city’s Chief Financial Officer Eric Demas who spoke with the spit and polish of a Marine Corps general as he presented the city’s FY19 Budget to a meeting of the City Council and the School Committee at city hall Monday night.
The total budget unveiled by Demas is $215,165, 828, a huge amount of money whose expenditures down to the last penny are a conundrum of additions and subtractions, state and federal funds mixed with local taxes and revenues of every kind.
Its bond rating remains high and if left up to him exclusively, it will remain this way.
The School Department bite out of the city’s fiscal funding is the largest by far.
Demas told the convention (the councilors and school committeepersons combined in attendance) that $81,380, 955 has been identified and set aside as part of the FY19 budget.
“The key factors proposed in the FY19 budget are: improving delivery of services…investment in public safety…a commitment to first class public schools…reorganization of city departments…collective bargaining with an eye toward beneficial and affordable accords…aggressive funding for full funding of the city’s pension obligations…and to control costs,” Demas wrote in his FY19 budget report.
There was a note of caution in the report that called attention to Exelon’s announcement they will be closing down their generating plant in 2022.
Demas noted in his report that this can be construed as a potential $15 million a year liability.
The health of the Enterprise Fund was noted in his report.
Everett’s water/sewer bills on average, are $516 less than in eight surrounding communities, due in large part to the retained earnings, translated into free cash, of the Enterprise funds.
Police and fire will receive $33.4 million in FY19 as opposed to $32.1 million in FY18.
The public schools figure of $81.3 million represents a 9% increase of almost $7 million over FY18, according to Demas.
Although the city’s pension liability is at a whopping $117.2 million/49% funded, it is on schedule to be fully funded by 2030.
The city’s bond rating will remain at AA+ and the city will have millions in the bank over what is needed for the budget.