Lowell City Council Preview: October 1, 2018

Mimi Parseghian previews tomorrow night’s Lowell City Council meeting:

The Council is back to weekly meetings so this week’s agenda is a bit lighter than those for the previous months.

MOTION RESPONSES:

Bicycle Safety: Motion (3/6/18) by Councilor K. Cirillo “Request City Manager provide a report for budgeted cost and implementation regarding these options for bicycle safety: 1) Painting and upkeep of bicycle lanes throughout the city. 2) Bike Lanes being segregated by a barrier for added safety.”

The three-page response submitted by Diane Tradd, Assistant City Manager/Director of DPD included photographs of the current bike lanes. “There are over 200 miles of roadway in the City, with about 70 miles (one-third) containing double yellow lines and fog (white) lines.  To date, the City of Lowell has painted 14 miles of dedicated bike lanes and 21.4 miles of sharrows (shared vehicle/bicycle travel lanes).

“The City of Lowell has not separated bike lanes at this time.  However, there are numerous regional and national studies that demonstrate the installation of separated bike lanes can increase bike ridership, decrease injuries to bicyclists, and decrease motor vehicle accidents and injuries.

Complete Streets Policy: Motion (3/6/18) by Councilor K. Cirillo “City Manager provide a report updating City Council regarding the Lowell Complete Street Policy enacted on August 11, 2015 and what goals for travel mode distribution, i.e. bicycle routes have been developed and/or achieved in accordance with the policy within the stated incremental five year time period which will end August 11, 2020.”

The response was submitted by Diane Tradd, Assistant City Manager/Director of DPD is 5-page long with the following opening paragraph “The Complete Streets policy opens up avenues of transportation funding because it allows the City of Lowell  to apply for MassDOT grants of up to $400,000 annually. As stated in our ordinance, the City is committed to ‘creating, maintaining and operating a safe and efficient multi-modal, within the context of this policy, including automobiles, pedestrians, passenger buses, the trolley system, cyclist and freight odes of transportation.”

FEMA Flood Zone Update: Motion (9/11/18) Councilor K. Cirillo “Request City Manager have the proper department provide the City Council with an update as to the issuance of the paperwork from FEMA that the City will provide to the residents who will no longer be in the flood zone, so that they may send the paperwork to their insurance companies.”

City officials joined by FEMA and Army Corps of Engineer staff will hold two public meetings to update impacted and concerned residents. The meetings will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday October 17th and Wednesday October 24th at the Do Polski Club, 10 Coburn Street in Lowell.

Double Poles Update: Motion (5/8/18) Councilor J. Leahey “Request City Manager invite Comcast, Verizon, and National Grid to a meeting to discuss double poles and hanging wires present throughout the City.”

Response prepared by Christine Clancy, City Engineer “…in recent year after Comcast, Verizon, National Grid developed a database to track the progress of double pole maintenance. Prior to implementation of the database, over 800 double poles existed in the City and that number has been reduced to 78 poles. Of 10,000 poles in the City, 78 poles, or less than 1% are double poles.”  According to the report, the loose wires are left there for other providers or anticipation of further work.

Clemente Field: Motion (5/22/18) by Councilor V. Nuon “Request City Manager have DPW work with representatives from Roberto Clemente Baseball Field to install lighting with a scoreboard on the field and a concession stand in the future.”

According to the response prepared by the City staff this improvement will cost $420,000.

Jackson Street Trash Barrels: Motion (9/25/18) by Councilor K. Cirillo “Request City Manager have proper department assess the amount of accumulated waste in the Jackson Street area since the new installation of the waste receptacles.”  According to the response, this past July 2 new pedestrian litter barrels were installed on Jackson Street.  There were already 2 City barrels in that area as well as 2 private ones owned by the Lowell Community Health Center.

Senior Discounts on Trash Barrels: Motion (9/11/18) by Councilor E. Kennedy “Request City Manager Review Trash Contract and Discounts for Seniors.”

Response “The rates for a 68 gallon trash cart for a single family home is $125 per year, whereas the senior rate for a 32 gallon cart is $32 per year. This rate represents an approximately 74.4% discount for a container half the size of the standard cart. The Solid Waste & Recycling Division of DPW reports that out of a total of 23,376 existing customers on city pickup, there are approximately 1,624 (7%) customers who take advantage of the senior discount  program…Several solid waste & recycling matters are currently before the City Council’s environmental subcommittee and this new, senior discount program could be added to the list for consideration and deliberation by the body.”

Solid Waste and Recycling Update:  Motion (8/14/18) Councilor J. Milinazzo “Request City Manager provide an updated report on trash violations and fines collected to date.” The 3-page report was prepared by Gunther Wellenstein, Solid Waste/Recycling Coordinator and Jim Donison, DPW Commissioner.  The response discusses the current and future state of solid waste; gives an update on Solid Waste and Recycling violations and fines; and proposed changes to the City Ordinance.

MOTIONS:

Councilor J. Leahy/Councilor D. Conway request City Manager investigate the feasibility of installing wide speed bumps at school locations.

Councilor V. Nuon request City Manager have LPD and LFD host a community workshop regarding job opportunities in each department as well as outlining application process for those jobs.

Councilor V. Nuon request City Manager update City Council, in a future scheduled Executive Session, regarding contract negotiations with fire and police unions.

Councilor R.Mercier/ Councilor K. Cirillo Request permission for the Lowell Firefighters Association to move the Lowell Doughboys statute to the North Common to make way for the Monument Committee to construct an 911 Monument on City Property at the corner of Fletcher and Willie Streets.

Mayor B. M. Samaras request City Manager work with National Grid to develop a presentation to the City Council on the steps and procedures that are taken by National Grid and the City to ensure safety for residents of Lowell.

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