By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Monday night the City Council approved the transfer of more than a $1,500,000 from the city’s stabilization fund to the general fund for several appropriations. Half of the transfer or about $500,000 goes toward the contract negotiation reserve account and another $540,000 is slated for the newly operating Regional Communication Center.
In a letter submitted the council from Mayor Brian Arrigo stated that contracts “have reached the agreement stage, however negotiations are ongoing.”
The outstanding contracts are for police, fire, DPW and city hall employees.
Finance Director George Anzuoni said the amount paid to employees would be retroactive and include any pay increases. He assured the council that none of the money was going toward legal fees.
“The police are not close and the DPW was but its not anymore,” said Ward 6 Councillor Charlie Patch.
Patch also expressed his displeasure with the new police/fire dispatch center shared with Winthrop. He noted the expense and how Chelsea had been in the beginning but pulled out. Anzuoni said it was his understanding that other communities were being approached.
“The old way worked,” Patch said. “It’s going to get expensive.”
Councillors approved another $361,081 in additional appropriations. The amount of $95,756 was appropriated for an approved insurance budget which reflect increased policy costs for the new stadium, the new Hill School, and the DPW yard building. Another $825 for the Memorial Park dedication in Beachmont for the late Councillor Richard Penta. Another $25,000 was appropriated for the Beachmont School for electrical supply line work and $25,000 was appropriated to upgrade heaters and boilers at the McKinley School.
There was also an appropriation made of $100,000 for an underestimating of street lighting costs. Another $25,000 was appropriated due to an unanticipated tree removal. The Election Department has appropriated $60,000 because of the October 18 special election which was set after the budget hearings in June. Another $4,500 was appropriated for omitted office supplies and $25,000 was appropriated for legal fees for the slots casino issue.