Arrigo says $6 million in general fund;
$8.2 million in ‘rainy day fund’
Mayor Brian Arrigo reported to the City Council that the City of Revere is in “spectacular financial shape” during his update on Free Cash Transfers to the Stabilization Fund, Water and Sewer Stabilization Fund, and the Capital Improvement Stabilization Fund.
“We have just over $6 million that will be certified in our General Fund and $2.8 million that is certified in our Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund,” Arrigo told the Council at Monday’s meeting. “Of that amount that has been certified in Free Cash, we are going to be depositing $900,000 in to our General Fund Rainy Day Account. All told, the city is in spectacular financial shape – the fact we have reserves on the general side up over $8 million now is a great sign.”
Arrigo attributed the city’s financial strength to the hard work of the Council, his administration, and the city’s financial officials.
“It’s not by accident these great things are happening,” said Arrigo. “It is the tireless work of this Council, of the administration, and the folks who work in our financial offices and are committed to making the city a great place.”
Residents will see some of the funds being used for streets and sidewalk improvements throughout the city, while each of the Revere schools will benefit greatly, especially the school clubs and varsity sports programs at Revere High School.
Arrigo said $1.4 million will go toward streets and sidewalks, with an additional $800,000 in state grants targeted for that purpose.
Students at Revere High would see an unprecedented level of financial support for their after-school clubs. “Each student activity group (such as the National Honor Society and the JROTC, for example) at the high school would receive $5,000,” said Arrigo, noting that there are approximately 35 such clubs at RHS.
Each of Revere High’s varsity boys and girls sports programs would also net $5,000, an augmentation in funding that will certainly bring a smile to Athletic Director Frank Shea, whose innovative leadership has resulted in increased participation and successes on the playing fields.
“Those funds could go to
uniforms, jackets, equipment, and things like that,” said Arrigo.
Each of Revere’s 11 schools would receive $10,000. “The students at each will come up with ideas about how that money is spent,” said Arrigo. “The school principals are really excited, especially the civics lesson that students are going to get, in terms of having this allotment of money and being able to think about how to spend it.”
Councillor-at-Large Jessica Giannino began an avalanche of praise for the robust state of the city’s finances, the mayor’s fiscal management and the boost that the additional funding will provide for school clubs and other organizations in the city.
“This is great news,” said Councillor-at-Large Jessica Giannino. “I’m really, really happy to see some of these appropriations. As a city councillor, one of the top three concerns I get is streets and sidewalks. It’s one of the biggest issues in our city. I can’t think of a more powerful thing to do.”
Giannino, a graduate of Revere High School, also lauded the mayor’s initiative to provide additional funding to school activity clubs.
“Some of the biggest impacts in my life have been from what I accomplished through Revere public schools,” said Giannino. “So being able to put money in the budget for these kids, these groups and clubs, for sports teams – these are things that will directly impact their lives in college and in the workforce.”
Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo also voiced his support for the mayor’s decision to allocate funds for the schools.
Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe said he was pleased to see the “reinvestment in our community” with funds being allocated for streets and sidewalks in his ward and the city. He said the additional funding for school clubs “will help create more well-rounded students in our city that are going to be more competitive for the best colleges in our state and this country.”
“All my colleagues pointed out great things, when I look at this, I’d like you to pat yourself on the back, Mr. Mayor,” said Councillor-at-Large Steven Morabito. “There is a lot going back to the community and the kids.”
“I’m glad to see this, it’s great,” said Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky. “This is the first time I have ever seen this kind of money put in to so many different categories.”
Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna asked the mayor whether, in addition to the street and sidewalk improvements, if the city would be addressing the issue of trees uprooting on sidewalks in certain areas of the city.
Arrigo replied that once the Council votes to put money in the Capital Reserve Fund, appropriations will be made to address additional improvements to public stairs, trees, and other sites in the city.
Council President Arthur Guinasso said the next step in the Free Cash Transfers approval process will be a Ways and Means Sub-Committee chaired by Councillor-at-Large Dan Rizzo on March 25 (5 p.m.) at City Hall.