City Council Preview: Jan 6, 2018

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

The Agenda for the Lowell City Council’s sixth meeting of the year is relatively short compared to the previous two weeks.

The motions that are responded to by the Administration are for the most part routine and provide updates rather than information leading to a policy discussion.

Responses to Motions:

Pedestrian Safety at Intersection of Pawtucket Blvd. and Rourke Bridge

The Middlesex Charter School (Middlesex Street, Higlands) will be required to construct these improvements this year. This was agreed as a condition of receiving their permit from the Planning Board.

Utopian Park Hydro Sculpture 

Utopian Park is the triangle shaped piece of land that is bordered by the Hamilton and Lower Pawtucket Canals. Artist Nancy Selvage is creating the public art piece, which will be completed June of this year.  Administrative and logistics matters will need to be agreed to prior to the installation.

Merrimack Valley Food Bank 
The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has been working with the Merrimack Valley Food Bank (MVFB) since 2014 to them find a new location. According to the response: “The site search for the MVFB has been extremely challenging due to very limited inventory of large, single-story warehouse facilities in Lowell available for sale (or lease) as well as the lack of buildable, non-contaminated land. The City’s new Director of Economic Development, Andrew Shapiro, is scheduling a meeting and tour with the MVFB’s Executive Director, to better understand the organization’s challenges in finding a suitable location and to brainstorm on “outside of the box” alternatives. “

Enhance Types of Businesses Attracted to the City : The motion by City Councilor John Leahey passed at last week’s meeting requested City Manager work with Downtown Redevelopment Subcommittee to Identify and Enhance the Types of Business that DPD is attracting to the City. Diane N. Tradd, Assistant City Manager/DPD Director, provided a 2-page background data as well as a blueprint for the anticipated Subcommittee discussions.  This City Council will have an opportunity to refresh and reset the approach to increasing and sustaining downtown businesses.

Traffic Control at Howe Bridge  The University’s police department does not have the manpower to put a traffic officer at the corner of University Ave and Pawtucket Street during the evening’s commuter hours.


City Councilor Rita Mercier Requests City Council to Name the Parks Department Building on Stedman Street in honor of Thomas R. Bellegarde for His Many Years of Service.

City Councilor Dave Conway has 2 motions on this week’s agenda:  Requests “City Council Create Subcommittee on Municipal Health Insurance.”  I am interested in learning the rationale for this motion.  Usually motions and policy discussions generate the need to move the conversation to a subcommittee.  This Council has 19 Subcommittees; this Ad-Hoc Committee will make it an even 20 committees.

The second motion Requests “City Manager Work with DCR to Install Appropriate Signage at the Entrance to Trotting Park Road Directing Forest Visitors to the Parking Area.”

City Councilor John Leahy Requests “City Manager Provide Update Regarding Latest Meeting with the Massachusetts School Building Authority.”  Good motion.  It is important that we receive an official report of that meeting.  From the beginning of the high school building debate the information at times has been confusing, contradictory and incomplete.

City Councilor Karen Cirillo has 2 motions on this week’s agenda: “Request City Manager Provide a Report Regarding Cost Analysis of Recycling Pick-Up Every Week Comparing it to Current Cost Pick-Up Every Other Week; in Addition Provide Possible Options for Residents that Bins Overflow; i.e. a Second Bin for People Who Request it.”  I am interested in this motion.  If people need a second bin, they should have to pay for double garbage pick-up.  That expense is subsidized by the general budget.

Request City Manager “Provide a Report Regarding Lowell Memorial Auditorium; Said Report to Include Updates on Proposals for a Management Company Due February 22nd, Money Allotted in Budget For Use And Upgrades Including Larger Loading Dock Doors and Restrooms, and Efforts Being Made to Increase its Use.”

2 Responses to City Council Preview: Jan 6, 2018

  1. Joe Boyle says:

    Recycling pickup is so much cheaper for the city than trash pickup. If giving people a second bin means they recycle instead of trashing, it would be a smart financial move for the city.

  2. Marianne says:

    I love Councilor Cirillo’s recycling motion. I would love to see more opportunities for curbside recycling whether through weekly collection or allowing residents to request an extra recycling bin. We recycle absolutely everything we can and we also compost and our recycling bin fills up much faster than our trash bin (there are some weeks when we don’t have any trash in our red bin but our green recycling bin in always full when it’s collected.) I have gotten in the habit of putting aside my recycling when my bin is too full. It’s a pain, and plenty of people have advised me to just throw my overflow recycling in with the trash, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I think that anything the City of Lowell can do to make recycling/composting/reducing the amount of waste that we are putting into landfills is worth the time/effort/money.