City Council Meeting Preview: May 7, 2019

This week’s City  Council agenda features a major vote on the high school, the report on the repair of the “damage” at Shedd Park caused by a bicycle race and what has now become a standard item, “City Council – Executive Session: “Regarding Matter Of Litigation, Namely Huot Et Al. V. City Of Lowell, Public Discussion Of Which Could Have A Detrimental Effect On The City’s Position.”

GENERAL PUBLIC HEARINGS

Loan Order to borrow $343,399,220 to pay cost of Designing Constructing Equipping and Furnishing an Addition and Renovation Project at Lowell High School.  The City’s portion of the costs is about $129 million but the City must pass an ordinance for the entire amount,  including the State’s portion of the new high school.

Loan order to accept provision in Massachusetts General Laws that allows Payment of Bills in Excess of Appropriations; thus making it possible to pay invoices incurred in previous year that did not funds assigned in the budget for their purpose.

MOTION RESPONSES

Shedd Park Bicycle Race Motion by Councilor D. Conway (12/14/2018) “Request City Manager provide a report regarding the Joseph Cady Bicycle Race held at Shedd Park on 11/18/2018; include estimated costs to repair the damaged areas of the route to its original condition.” The Administration’s response was submitted by Ralph Snow, Commissioner of the Department of Public Works.

“City officials met with Boston Road Club to discuss the restoration at Shedd Park from damage incurred as a result of the Boston Road Club Cyclocross Race held on November 18, 2018. Members of the Boston Road Club consulted with professional landscapers and then undertook restoration of the course…The course was recently walked with City officials including the City Engineer, the Superintendent of Parks and the DPW Commissioner. A second walk was conducted with Councilor Conway, the Lowell High Cross Country Track Coach, the Superintendent of Parks and the DPW Commissioner. All are in agreement that the damage caused during the race has been repaired.”

Motion of 03/19/19 by Councilor V. Nuon request City Manager have proper department provide a traffic analysis of all Neighborhood Business Districts; aim to better understand parking demands and also determine whether the City has or can invest in traffic calming measures (speed bumps, bump outs, pedestrian crossing, plantings) for these areas.”

The response was submitted by Diane N. Tradd, Assistant City Manager/Department of Planning and Development Director.  The memo states that there are 10 designated neighborhood business districts plus an additional 5 areas, although not zoned for as a neighborhood business area (NB), due to the high pedestrian volume are added to this list.

All of these areas have the same issues: high volumes of pedestrians, limited parking and vehicle speed, which could be a factor in pedestrian safety. It will cost about $10,000 – $15,000 to do a traffic calming study for each area. However, the memo does state that “In addition, City, Engineering, and DPD staff is developing a City policy, to be approved by the City Council, for Traffic Calming.”

CPA Eligible Projects Housing Sub-Committee (4/30/2019) Request City Manager gather information on possible projects eligible for Conservation Preservation Act (CPA) funds from recent capital plan.

The 8-page report was prepared by Conor Baldwin, Chief Financial Officer and it provides “an excerpt from the five year CIP that includes project titles and estimates for the five-year funding period. Those projects which could potentially be eligible for funding are highlighted in yellow on the attachments for each year. The total sum of projects is $4.2 million which may be eligible for funding.”

There are 3 votes from the City Manager that will be given their first reading:

1. Declare various properties surplus and authorize the City Manager to proceed with an auction process.

2. Vote authorize Manager execute Project Scope and Budget Agreement and Project Funding Agreement between MSBA and City of Lowell regarding LHS project.

3. Vote authorize City Manager execute Purchase and Sales of Parcels A and B from Post 662 VFW to the City.

MOTIONS

Councilor Rita Mercier “Request the City Manager find Ways and Means to have Spring Street paved.”

Councilor Karen Cirillo “Request the City Manager direct the proper department to look into options on how to improve the lighting for the entire length of the River Walk from Boot Mills to LeLacheur Park.”

Councilor Karen Cirillo “Request the City Manager provide the City Council with a progress update from the Homelessness Task Force.”

Councilor Karen Cirillo “Request Mayor present to the Superintendent of Schools and School Committee a Letter Requesting 5th Graders to design shirts for Council Members to wear during Cleanup Day and to forward letter to 5th Grade Principals upon review and approval

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