City Council Update: March 8, 2020

Here are the motions on the agenda for the upcoming March 10, 2020, Lowell City Council meeting:

Councilor Mercier – Request City Manager have the proper department address the speeding on East Merrimack Street from 3 PM to 6:30 PM and set up a patrol to alert drivers of the dangers.

Councilor Mercier – Request City Manager put Christian Avenue on the repaving list.

Councilor Mercier – Request City Manager investigate feasibility of constructing parking garage in place of fill under rehabilitated Lord Overpass.

Councilor Nuon – Request City Manager instruct Transportation Engineer provide a report on feasibility of establishing “No Parking” zones at certain intersections along Middlesex Street.

Councilor Nuon – Request City Manager investigate working with Middlesex Community College regarding construction of new parking garage on the Davidson Street parking lot in order to free up parking at other City facilities.

Councilor Nuon – Request City Manager provide City Council with a City-wide yard waste pick-up schedule for the summer months.

Councilor Nuon – Request City Manager provide City Council with an update from the State regarding rehabilitation of the Rourke Bridge.

Councilor Nuon – Request City Manager provide City Council with a City-wide Spring cleaning schedule.

Councilor Elliott – Request City Manager have DPD report on the status of expending FY20 earmark from the State to support small business development and second earmark for exterior improvements to small businesses.

Councilor Elliott – Request City Manager request new owners of locks and canals clean the floating debris at all gates on the canals throughout the City.

Here are (the highlights from) the Minutes of the City Council meeting of March 3, 2020:

All Present

Citation -Merrimack Valley Center for Empowerment (Brandon and Katlyn Boucher). In City Council. Leahy presented Citation to Brandon and Katlyn Boucher as new business owners. They both addressed the Council.

In City Council, M. Leahy presented Citation to Henry Naruszewicz as Veteran of the Month. Mr. Naruszewicz was present and thanked the Council. C. Mercier commented on the accomplishments of Mr. Naruszewicz.

In City Council, M. Leahy presented Citation W. Patrick Murphy recognizing his role as an ambassador. Ambassador Murphy was present and thanked the Council.

COMMUNICATIONS FROM CITY MANAGER

Trial Court Parking–C. Samaras commented on the plan and the need for the plan. Manager Donoghue commented on the possible completion date of the parking garage. C. Samaras commented on the number of parking spaces needed and increasing the time allowed on parking meters. C. Mercier questioned the use of shuttles to the Justice Center. Manager Donoghue noted that there was early discussion regarding use of shuttles and that the Trial Court has since backed away from that as the LRTA have added some bus routes. C. Rourke noted the difficulty with parking of jurors. Diane Tradd (DPD) commented on how notices will be going out to the public regarding traffic and parking. C. Elliott noted that parcels could be leased to satisfy parking requirements. Ms. Tradd noted that there have been discussion regarding leasing and that they have not been productive. James Scanlon (LRTA) commented on increased services to accommodate the Judicial Center. C. Rourke questioned if lots that are not paved could be used for parking. C. Samaras noted the need for continuous efforts during this time. C. Elliott noted that parcel will become available for possible garage and that RFP process should be explored. C. Mercier hoped that the body would be able to tour the facility.

Emergency Vehicle Traffic Plan–C. Samaras commented on traffic signal automation. Chief Winward (LFD) outlined the technology. C. Samaras commented on the procedures in place to assist cardiac arrest situations. Chief Winward noted it was a team response which has been successful. Natasha Vance (Transportation Engineer) noted that new technology requires replacing old signalization. C. Samaras questioned use of cameras at crossings. Ms. Vance noted the expense of that traffic signals are constantly improving. C. Conway commented on the updating of lights. Ms. Vance noted the time and expense of replacing lighting. C. Conway stated that best practices should be used. C. Elliott noted departments are staying up with policies and procedures.

Lowell Hydroelectric Facility–C. Rourke noted upcoming meeting with new owners of the facility.

Baby Boxes–C. Elliott commented on the report and his discussion with Chief Winward.

Communication-Appoint Amy E. Wilson, MLIS to Pollard Memorial Library Board of Trustees as Associate Member. In City Council, read, Motion to adopt by C. Elliott, seconded by C. Drinkwater. Adopted per Roll Call vote 9 yeas. So voted. Ms. Wilson was present and thanked the Council.

Communication-Appoint David Feehan to Disability Commission. In City Council, read, Motion to adopt by C. Mercier, seconded by C. Rourke. Adopted per Roll Call vote 9 yeas. So voted. Mr. Feehan was present and thanked the Council.

Communication-Appoint Erica Harvey to Disability Commission. In City Council, read, Motion to adopt by C. Chau, seconded by C. Elliott. Adopted per Roll Call vote 9 yeas. So voted.

Communication Reappoint George Villaras and Troy Depeiza to Historic Board. In City Council, read, Motion to adopt by C. Drinkwater, seconded by C. Nuon. Adopted per Roll Call vote 9 yeas. So voted.

VOTES FROM THE CITY MANAGER5.

Authorize CM Ex. Temporary License Agreement-20 Favor Street. In City Council, Read twice, full reading waived with no objections. Motion to adopt by C. Conway, seconded by C. Chau. Adopted per Roll Call vote 9 yeas. So voted. Manager Donoghue commented on the use of the property by contractors working on construction in the Hamilton Canal District. C. Elliott questioned costs associated with use. Manager Donoghue noted that there would be a credit of about $1,800 per month for the property. C. Mercier commented on parking at the site. Natasha Vance (Transportation Engineer) noted there would not be street parking but all would be on site.

Vote-Authorize CM Ex. MOU between City and Lowell Police Association, Inc. In City Council, Read twice, full reading waived with no objections. Motion to adopt by C. Mercier, seconded by C. Samaras. Adopted per Roll Call vote 9 yeas. So voted.

Vote-Transfer funds to provide funding associated with the Lowell Police Assn. Inc. collective bargaining contract. In City Council, Read twice, full reading waived with no objections. Motion to adopt by C. Mercier, seconded by C. Rourke. Adopted per Roll Call vote 9 yeas. So voted.

ORDINANCES FROM THE CITY MANAGER6.

Ordinance-Amend certain sections of 10.3entitled Hamilton Canal District Form Based Code. In City Council, Given 1stReading,Motionto refer to Planning Board for report and recommendation and to public hearing before City Council on April 14, 2020at 7PM by C. Drinkwater, seconded by C. Conway. So voted. Elliott noted that many have interest in the property. Diane Tradd (DPD) noted that there was a RFP prior with no responses. C. Elliott noted that time has changed as more is developed so interest has risen. C. Mercier questioned if all vehicles, big and small, would be able to park in the garage. C. Rourke noted the property must be cleared before being offered.

REPORTS (SUB/COMMITTEE, IF ANY) 7.1. Subcommittee Reports.1) Zoning SC March 3, 2020.In City Council, C. Elliott provided report noting the attendance and discussion of inspection of housing units in the City and that a report would be forthcoming. Elliott noted that noncompliant owners should be pressured to obey ordinance through increased technology or development of a central registry. C. Nuon commented on the growing issue of illegal dumping. C. Elliott noted there will be additional meetings regarding inspections and enforcement.Motionto accept the report as a report of progress by C. Elliott, seconded by C. Mercier. So voted.

Economic Downtown Redevelopment SC March 3, 2020. In City Council, C. Elliott provided report noting the attendance and discussion of Opportunity Zones as well as an update of Acre Plan. Motion to accept the report as a report of progress by C. Elliott, seconded by C. Conway. So voted.

Wire Insp. -National Grid -Request installation of ten feet of underground electric conduit to service 336 Central Street. In City Council, Motion to adopt and accept accompanying orderly C. Mercier, seconded by C. Nuon. So voted.

PETITIONS Claim – (1) Property Damage. In City Council, Motion to refer to Law Department for report and recommendation by C. Rourke, seconded by C. Samaras. So voted.

Misc. -Carmen Tinajero Bveno for the benefit of Isaac Soto request installation of handicap parking sign at 335 W. Sixth Street (Apt. 2L).In City Council, Motion to refer to Transportation Engineer for report and recommendation by C. Drinkwater, seconded by C. Conway. So voted.

CITY COUNCIL MOTIONS

C. Mercier/C. Elliott -Req. City Mgr. provide a report regarding construction plans for LHS and procedures in which to inform businesses and residents downtown as to any traffic mitigation, congestion, parking etc. during all phases of construction at the LHS project. In City Council, no second needed, referred to City Manager. So voted. C. Merciercommented that many businesses downtown are concerned with future construction in the area. Manager Donoghue noted the importance of planning and a report will be provided.

M. Leahy -Req. City Mgr. provide a report regarding available summer jobs, programs and/or activities for the youth of Lowell. In City Council, seconded by C. Elliott, referred to City Manager. So voted. M. Leah noted that season is upon us.

ANNOUNCEMENTS in City Council. Mercier noted White Ribbon Day. M. Leahy noted YMCA opening and scheduled flag raising.

ADJOURNMENT in City Council, Motion to Adjourn C. Rourke, seconded by C. Nuon. So voted. Meeting adjourned at 8:15PM.

One Response to City Council Update: March 8, 2020

  1. Mr. Lynne says:

    “Request City Manager investigate feasibility of constructing parking garage in place of fill under rehabilitated Lord Overpass.”

    Um, below grade is more expensive even if you’ve got to do less excavation overall because of the existing underpass. You’re talking ventilation, retaining walls, entry and exits to roadways, groundwater-proofing, extra structure to support surface roads for a roof, plus all the maintenance headache. Plus the maintenance of traffic during construction becomes more complicated.

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