City Council Preview: Jan 14, 2019

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

Lowell City Council meeting agenda for this Tuesday’s meeting has a couple of motions of wide interest. And for the second week in a row, they will hold an Executive Session.

MOTION RESPONSE

Response to Violence in the City Motion (12/4/18) by Councilor D. Conway “Request City Manager/Superintendent of Police to develop an inclusive plan/strategies that will address and help solve the violence in the City, in particular, the recent shootings.”

The 2-page response was submitted by Superintendent of Police Kelly Richardson “As a result of recent shootings, the Lowell Police Department (LPD) has added an officer to the Gang Unit which brings the number of officers from five to six. Additionally, these officers are outfitted in full uniform as opposed to street clothes for better visibility and officer safety. The additional officer was chosen strategically based on his training and experience.

“The LPD Gang Unit works strategically with specific social service agencies and will schedule bi-weekly meetings to discuss any gang issues across the city and work toward developing strategies to quell any flare ups of violence. They have also contacted the MassHire Lowell Career Center and have been connected with a liaison there to assist with diversion efforts… The Gang Unit meets bi-weekly with the Probation Department to discuss the top 25 impact players and share information on restrictions of individuals on probation.”

Boylston Street Bicycle Safety Motion (9/25/18) by Councilor K. Cirillo “Request City Manager have proper department provide a report regarding ways and means of making Boylston Street more bicycle pedestrian friendly.”

The response was submitted by Diane N. Tradd, Assistant City Manager/DPD Director. She wrote: “Boylston Street is approximately 37 feet wide, from face of curb to face of curb. There is one lane of traffic in each direction and a dedicated bicycle lane and continuous sidewalk on the western curb-line from the intersection with Rogers Street to the intersection with Lawrence Street…Given the width of road and resident issues with crossing safely at the mid-block crosswalks, Boylston Street is a good candidate for traffic calming measures, which could include enhanced bicycle infrastructure. The purpose of traffic calming measures is to slow traffic and create a safer roadway environment for people walking and biking.“

There is an informational memo from City Manager Eileen Donohue regarding the City’s plans to submit grant applications to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) Accelerated Repair Program Application Update. “The Accelerated Repair Program at the MSBA is a competitive grant program designed to ease the financial burden of large renovations and/or repairs to municipal building systems including roofs, boilers, windows and doors. This program has been around for a number of years and is a key tool for a school district to maintain its most valuable infrastructure, its school buildings.”

Repair-grant applications will be filed for the following schools: Abraham Lincoln Elementary School; Bailey Elementary School; Sullivan Middle School; Daley Middle School; Lowell High School Freshman Academy; Pawtucketville Memorial Elementary School; McAuliffe Elementary School ad Stem Academy at Rogers School.

MOTIONS

Councilor E. Kennedy/Councilor K. Cirillo “Request City Manager have the proper department provide the City Council with a list of all City-owned and State-owned pedestrian crossing signs.”

Councilor K. Cirillo “Request City Manager have the department inspect all City-owned pedestrian crossing signs to see if they are functioning correctly and produce a timeline as to repairing the signs that are not.”

Councilor K. Cirillo “Request City Manager contact the State to inspect all State-owned pedestrian crossing signs to see if they are functioning correctly and produce a timeline as to repairing the signs that are not.”

Councilor K. Cirillo “Request City Manager direct the proper department to replant, in the Spring, the cherry blossom trees outside of the Leo Roy Garage.”

Councilor R. Elliott “Request City Council vote to place a moratorium on any additional host community agreements on any marijuana cultivation or medical distribution facilities in the City pf Lowell.”

[I will be interested to hear Councilor Elliott’s reasoning.  As far as I can recall, only one agreement has been signed and that facility is not opened up yet].

Councilor D. Conway “Request City Manager have proper department prepare a traffic safety study regarding the intersection of Foster and Westford Streets.”

Major B. Samaras “Request City Auditor provide a written explanation and report for noncompliance issues found during the recent School Department Audit as pertaining to the City’s rules, regulations and ordinances.”

Major B. Samaras “Request City Council Draft A Resolution in support of Massachusetts Senate Docket 101, an Act Providing Rightful Opportunities and Meaningful Investment for Successful and Equitable Education, also Known as The Education Promise Act.”

[I am glad that the City is taken a position on the Senate Bill to reform the formula for state aid to cities and towns for public education. They will need to contact the State Reps not only to ask for their support but their leadership to have the House support a similar bill].

Mayor B. Samaras/Councilor V. Nuon “Request City Manager explore the possibility of assisting areas within Lowell National Historic Park with upkeep such as cleaning and plowing during the Government Shutdown.”

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