Mimi Parseghian previews tomorrow’s Lowell City Council meeting:
This week’s Lowell City Council agenda is light. There are only two reports answering previous motions.
A) Street Acceptance List: The three-page report prepared by Nicolás H. Bosonetto, City Engineer is informative and provides data that should be used to prepare a strategic plan regarding unaccepted streets. Unaccepted Streets are those who are open to public travel but not formally accepted by the City.
According to the report, the City has 188 miles of accepted streets and 50 miles of unaccepted streets. Given the current staff, it will take 50 years to accept all the unaccepted streets. The report contains the list of the streets (29) that the Engineering Department is working for acceptance. It also lists the streets (17) that were accepted.
The formula applied by the Commonwealth to distribute funding for street improvement (Chapter 90) focuses on three areas: 58.33% Accepted Road Miles, and 20.83% for population and 20.83% for the number of street work. Thus, the higher number of accepted streets, the more funds we can receive for the upkeep of the streets.
B) Abandoned Properties: This report was prepared by R. Eric Slagle, Director of Development Services in answer to a motion by City Councilor R. Elliott “Requesting the City Manager and Building Department Provide a Report Regarding All Abandoned Home in the City.”
According to the report, “the City does not maintain a list of such properties, as the status of a property can be difficult to determine from a simple visual inspection.” However, they do use two lists to focus on potential abandoned properties. The first is the Lowell Fire Department’s list of marked properties and the second is the list maintained by the Development Services of registered properties under the Vacant/Foreclosure Ordinance. The list contains 238 properties but only 80 are vacant.
The agenda also states that there will be presentation by the lawyers hired by the City to join in the class action suit against the manufacturers of opioids.
Also, Laurel Racine of the Lowell National Historical Park, joined by UML’s Senior Archivist Tony Sampas and Volunteer co-curator Mark Van Der Hyde will make a short presentation on the upcoming Lowell Branding Exhibit.
Councilor K. Cirillo: Request Arts and Culture Sub Committee work in conjunction with the Cultural Commission to promote public art in and around the City.
Councilor K. Cirillo: Request City Manager provide a report regarding rejuvenation of the Tour de Lowell; report to include information from prior races in the City.
Councilor K. Cirillo: Request City Manager provide a report regarding Spring tree and flower plantings in the city; report to include schedule of plantings, number of plantings and area of plantings.
Councilor R. Elliott: Request City Manager explore feasibility of providing 15 minute parking space at 56 Branch Street.
Councilor R. Elliott: Request City Manager feasibility of providing a loading Zone Parking space located at 32 Branch Street.
Councilor D. Conway Request City Manager have proper City officials make a presentation to the substance abuse Sub-Committee relative to steps being taken to combat the opiate epidemic.
Councilor E. Kennedy: Request Zoning Sub-Committee consider amending the current parking regulations for boarding homes and make recommendation to City Council.
Councilor E. Kennedy: Request Zoning Sub-Committee review and consider amendments to the Zoning Code; specifically for definitions for “boarding houses” and “family” in Article II and the table of uses in Article I.
Mayor B. Samaras: Request City Council set up a joint meeting of the Public Safety Sub-Committee with the student services Sub-Committee of the School Committee to discuss safety in our schools.
Also prior to the full City Council meeting on Tuesday, the Environment and Flood Issues Sub-Committee (Councilors K. Cirillo (Chair), R. Elliott and E. Kennedy) will meet to have a possible ordinance that would require the City of Lowell ban plastic bags in stores larger than 3,000 sq. feet; the ordinance would only apply to carryout bags used in stores; exempting bags for dry cleaning, newspapers, coverings for raw meat, poultry, raw fish, hard cheese, cold cuts, fruits, vegetables, baked goods and wet items.