Lowell City Council Preview: June 11, 2018

Mimi Parseghian previews this week’s Lowell City Council meeting:

If the City Council agenda was a magazine, this week it would be called the Budget Issue.

It is all about money, how we are going to raise and more importantly how we are going to spend it.

Although it is relatively light in items, it is quite heavy in content.  At 7:00 p.m. the Public Hearing portion has 8 items.  After a discussion, where the public is invited to express their views, a vote will be taken.

You need to have a good understanding of municipal finances to fully comprehend the impact of all of thees new or revised ordinances and loan orders.

Here are the 8 items:

Endorse the FY 19 -FY 23 Capital Plan; “Authorizing the endorsement of the Fiscal Year 2019–Fiscal Year 2023 proposed Capital Plan.”

Loan Order 2019 Capital Improvements: “To borrow $9,903,391 for the purpose of financing various capital improvements and any related architectural and engineering services in connection therewith and any costs incidental and related thereto.”

Ordinance: Amend Chapter 266 Parking Rates.

Loan Order: Garage Construction. “To borrow $35,400,000 for the purpose of financing the construction of a parking garage and any related architectural and engineering services and site work in connection therewith and any costs incidental and related thereto in the City of Lowell.”

Ordinance: Amend Chapter 272-87 Entitled Annual Sewer Use Charge.

Ordinance: Amend Chapter 282 Article Vi S. 272-86 Metered Service Water.

Vote: Approve FY 19 Budget Appropriations. The City Council can vote to remove or reduce a line item but they cannot add to the budget.

Ordinance: Establish Revolving Funds Pursuant To MGL Ch. 44, Section 53E 1/2.

Under Communications from the City Manager there are one report, one vote and one ordinance.  The last two will have their first reading and a public hearing/vote will e chosen to take place at a future date.

The report  is a 10-page document entitled “Lowell STAT Report on the Parking Department.”

In her cover letter to the City Council, City Manager Eileen Donoghue writes: “Included is a copy of the presentation which describes information relative to the finances for the Parking Enterprise fund. The LowellSTAT team worked with the Parking Director to compile a comparative analysis of similar sized municipalities in terms of garage rates and parking tickets. Also included is data that specifies the garage repairs essential to the existing facilities. These repairs are in addition to the standard ongoing maintenance.”

Last year, FY 18, expenses were $971,176 higher than revenue.  For FY 19, the expenses are projected to be over $1,000,000 more than revenue.  If a rate increase is not enacted, in 2-3 years the Parking Enterprise Fund will be depleted.

CITY COUNCIL MOTIONS:

Ad-Hoc Election Laws Sc May 30, 2018 And June 4, 2018.

City Council – Motions

Councilor K. Cirillo: Request City Manager instruct Department of Planning and Development to provide a report and proposal regarding a plan authored by former Lowell High School Headmaster, Peter Stamas, entitled “Lowell – The Flowering City”.

Councilor K. Cirillo: Request City Manager instruct proper department to provide trash barrels at various locations along Jackson Street especially the segment between Marston and Canal Streets.

Councilor R.  Elliott: Request City Council discuss establishing a standing Sub-Committee regarding cannabis control.

Councilor R.  Elliott: Request City Manager have Department of Planning and Development apply for Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Grant from the State.

Councilor R.  Elliott: Request Mayor invite Captain Crowley (LPD) to Council meeting to acknowledge his dedication to the City.

Councilor J. Leahy: Request City Council send Letter of Appreciation to Captain Tim Crowley in recognition of his services to the City of Lowell.

Councilor E. Kennedy: Request Superintendent of Schools provide the City Council with a report explaining why the Lowell School District is subject to an increase in the Charter School Cap relative to MGL Ch. 71 Sect. 89 Paragraphs 2 and 3.

Councilor E. Kennedy: Request Superintendent of Schools and the School Committee consider establishing a mini course to be part of the Curriculum for Lowell High School Seniors and Adult Education students that would cover the voting process in Lowell and the functions of municipal government.

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