Lowell City Council Preview: November 13, 2018

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

Back to business now that the election season is over.  The Lowell City Council agenda for this week once again has an item regarding the lawsuit against the City to establish neighborhood representation to select the City Council instead of the current at-large system.

“Executive Session – regarding matter of litigation, namely Huot et al v. City of Lowell, public discussion of any of these matters would have a detrimental effect on the City’s position.”

MOTION RESPONSES

Restorative Justice Program: Motion (10/16/18) by Councilor V. Nuon ‘Requests City Manager invite Justice Jay Blitzman of the Juvenile Court to the Public Safety Sub-Committee to provide an overview of the ‘Restoring Justice Program’.”

City Manager E. Donoghue responded that “District Attorney Marian Ryan and Judge Blitzman will be attending the public safety subcommittee meeting on November 20th, 2018 to discuss the Restorative Justice Program. Please contact me with any questions.”

LFD and LPD Responses to Marijuana Facilities: Motion (10/16/18) by Councilor V. Nuon “Requests City Manager have Lowell Police Department (LPD) and Lowell Fire Department (LFD) provide a report regarding officer time spent responding to any incidents at existing medical marijuana cultivation or retail facilities.”

In his response to the motion Kelly Richardson, Superintendent of Police, wrote “A review of records for the past year indicates that the Lowell Police Department responded to the medical marijuana retail facility at 70 Industrial Ave. five times. Four of these calls were for medical events and one for a false alarm. The Lowell Fire Department did not respond to any calls at this location.

“A further review of records for the past year for the medical marijuana cultivation facility located at 170 Lincoln St. indicated that the Lowell Police Department responded only one time for a suspicious motor vehicle. The Lowell Fire Department responded on two occasions for an activated carbon monoxide detector which was determined to be a false activation.”

Lowell Transitional Living Center (LTLC) Shelter Issues: Motion (8/14/18) by Councilor J. Milinazzo “Request City Manager meet with the Director of Middlesex Shelter and neighborhood representatives to discuss illegal activities taking place outside and adjacent to the shelter.”

Kelly Richardson, Superintendent of Police, replied and wrote that the Lowell Police Department conducted a series of meetings with officials of the LTLC “to continue our discussions with the LTLC relative to the ongoing issues and complaints the city and the LPD have received from neighbors and business owners relative to noise, loitering and other illegal activities.”

It was agreed that LTLC “staff checking the neighborhood for LTLC clients that were not following rules of LTLC and/or bothering neighborhood business and residents. Failure to adhere to these policies could result in loss of services for the clients.”  Also, the LPD the LTLC “staff members will conduct a ‘count’ on the ‘Homeless Camps’.”

National Grid Issues: Motion (10/2/18) by Councilor J. Leahy “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.”

Christine Clancy, P.E., City Engineer , provided the Administration’s response and she wrote “The City of Lowell reached out to National Grid requesting a presentation addressing the above motion. National Grid declined the invitation; however, National Grid has indicated that they are working closely with the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to ensure that their safety procedures and protocols are being followed. National Grid has also been meeting with the Engineering Department on a regular basis to discuss the ongoing work throughout the City.”

Railway Issues: Motion (11/8/18) by Councilor K. Cirillo “Request City Manager contact the MBTA regarding a timeline of when they will be clearing the debris that was left by the homeless camp located near the railroad tracks, behind 50 Waugh Street.”

Motion (8/14/18) by Councilor J. Leahy “Request City Manager investigate the reasons for idling trains in the Lawrence Street area.

City Manager Eileen Donoghue informed the City Council that the Administration contacted both the MBTA and Pan Am.  They were informed that the track area belongs to Pan Am.  Unfortunately, Pan Am has not been cooperative. “We have reached out to Cynthia Scarano, Executive VP of Pan AM multiple times to address the issue of homeless camps as well as the idling trains near Lawrence St. She has failed to respond to our repeated requests for a meeting.”

The issue with Pan Am Railways has been an on-going issue with the city going back quite a few years.

MOTIONS

Councilor J. Leahy Request City Manager provide a report from Elections Department regarding updating all voter equipment.

Councilor J. Leahy Request City Manager provide a report regarding evaluation and review of existing City Hall Departments To Ensure Efficient Operations.

Mayor Samaras Councilor J. Leahy Request City Manager provide a report regarding steps that can be taken to increase the availability of parking in the Hamilton Canal District prior to the building of the new garage.

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