$268.6 million proposed budget
By Josh Resnek
The city’s finances appear to be in good order and the 2024 budget at $268.6 million covers a great deal of positive territory as Everett enters a key period in its modern development.
City officials informed a joint meeting of the city council and the school committee last week that the city’s finances have been buoyed by a $27.6 million host payment from Encore Casino and Hotel.
That host agreement is right now being renegotiated, according to city officials.
Standard and Poor’s has assigned the city a Double A-Plus rating which implies a stable outlook regarding the city’s financial future, according to city officials.
An official disclosed the city has $7.7 million in its stabilization fund and $7.4 million in its capital improvement fund.
The city is also holding tens of millions of dollars in ARPA funding it received as compensation for COVID-19 losses and added expenses.
That funding remains largely unused.
On the school department side, $128.6 million represents the 2024 budget total.
That total is $19.9 million more than 2023.
The city budget reveals a dedication to spending taxpayer dollars to repair infrastructure.
Also, the city spares no effort or dollars to have city services fully met with departments functioning with optimum employment figures and budgets and new equipment.
Several major new developments that are likely to happen will have a positive effect on the city’s income in the coming years if and when they become a reality.
The sale of the Exxon Mobile 95 acre parcel and its pollution mitigation and ultimate development is believed to be worth untold millions in new tax revenues.
If the Distrigas LNG site is sold many more millions in tax revenues could be garnered from the redevelopment of that site.
The recent sale of the Mystic Generating Plant owned by Constellation to Wynn Development for $25 million will lead to the a major new set of developments by the casino and hotel that will contribute millions more to the city treasury.
However, with the public schools growing more and more overcrowded, and the city’s efforts to secure a designation from the state for a new high school, remains problematic, no matter how good the city’s finances are.
A new high school is estimated to cost $500 million to $600 million and the state won’t be able to pay for even half of that estimated amount.
Where the city could find that kind of money without worsening its credit is big question mark.