The Everett Common Council cleared the way for a complete renovation of the City Council meeting chambers Monday night, with a 10-0 vote of the Common Council to “accept and dispose of” the 96 theater style seats that currently make up the public gallery of Peter J. McCarren Memorial Chamber.
By affirming a vote of the Board of Aldermen that was taken prior to Thanksgiving, the Council essentially cleared the way for work to begin within the third floor chamber, so that the renovated City Council chamber will be ready when the new form of government is officially sworn in on Monday, January 6, 2014.
“We really don’t have a lot of time,” noted City Clerk Michael Matarazzo, who is overseeing the renovation for the city council. “There are still meetings to be held in there until December 23, so we’ll only have two weeks with the space completely empty.”
In the meantime, Matarzzo said Monday night that he plans to have workers start removing the old theater style chairs, some of the 25 councilor/aldermen desks, and some of those chairs and begin painting this week.
“We can’t leave it all to the last minute, there is too much work to do,” he said.
Matarazzo confirmed that the total cost of the renovation, which includes painting, carpeted floors, new seating for both the councilors and the public, a new table and chairs for those who are making presentations to the council and window treatments for the room will only cost the city $30,000. Money to cover the costs was included in the city capital budget for fiscal 2014.
10 of the 25 existing councilors desks are going to be re-finished and coupled with new seating for the councilors. The Council President’s desk on the dais will remain. Of the 15 desks being taken out of the room, six will be placed in the Keverian Room for the convenience of bodies that meet in that room one will be preserved for historic and display purposes and the rest will be auctioned off.
The theater style seating will be offered for sale and if there are no takers, may be either donated or disposed of in a manner consistent with state law governing surplus public property.
Matarazzo said the work on the council chamber itself could begin as early as this week, even though there are still two Aldermen’s meetings, a Common Council meeting and two short Joint Conventions all scheduled for this month.