Everett Public Works Employees Fear For Their Lives

February 2, 2017

Everett Government

public works employees

This notebook of employee concerns was presented to the Everett City Council Wednesday night.

Some Everett Public Works employees made an unusual presentation to the Everett City Council Wednesday night.

“The City Council decision to table the Public Works Service Center redevelopment project demonstrates a lack of urgency for the safety and well being of the two hundred plus Public Works staff and ultimately the public,” said Gina Loring, an Everett Public Works employee.
“In doing so the Council knowingly continues to put essential staff at risk working in a hazardous building.”

Everett Public Works employees

There are huge cracks in multiple areas of the service center.

Bill Barrett a public works employee for 31 years presented the city council with a notebook containing examples of the dangers identified in their current building along with more than four dozen signatures of employees expressing statements of concern.

“You are putting all Public Works employees’ lives at risk,” said Barrett. “You also are risking the lives of all citizens of Everett.”

The issue at hand was the council’s decision last October to remove the costs associated with a new Public Works Service Center from upcoming water and sewer rate increases. The city for years had been studying options for replacing the current facility which all agree is dangerous and not likely to handle an earthquake.

When it came time to move forward with plans for the service center the council voted 6-1 to consider other locations citing not the $70 million dollar price tag but the location of the facility which several council members felt should be placed somewhere other than a gateway to the city.

Everett Public Works Employees

You can see where epoxy has been used to fill the cracks in building 1

Tonight the Mayor and Council said the project isn’t on hold indefinitely they just don’t have a firm timeline and are still considering all of the options including locations and costs. The Mayor indicated they expected to have options this summer.

In the meanwhile it appears that the Everett City Council has been put on notice that there is a huge liability issue staring at the city with the conditions as they currently exist for Everett Public Works employees.

The City Council did approve increases in the water and sewer rates for the next four years. They may have to re-visit those rates when they decide how to fund the new Public Works Service Center wherever it may be.


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