Lowell City Council meeting: March 6, 2018


C. Kennedy – Req. City Mgr. instruct the Law Department to begin procedures and preparation necessary for the eminent domain taking of 75 Arcand Drive. This motion came before the council at its last meeting but was delayed because several councilors wanted a report on the steps to be followed. Vote is unanimous (this is just to begin the process and is not the actual taking).


Motion Responses

A) Lowell Memorial Auditorium report. Councilor Cirillo asks city manager to explain the report to viewers. Conor Baldwin says there is an RFP out there and invites interested management companies to submit proposals. March 13 is the deadline for responding. The city manager’s staff will have a committee to review the responses and then make a recommendation to the council.

B) Lowell Car Wash – city representatives to meet with Lowell Car Wash on March 14, then will report back to the council. Some of the land will have to be taken but if they alter the way cars enter the facility, it should work out OK.

C) Union Lowell, LLC Private Dormitory – Councilor Nuon says now that the Planning Board has turned down the dormitory proposal, the city should work with the property owner to find a more suitable use for the property. Councilor Mercier says it was great that this project would have created union jobs, but the proposal did not meet the requirements of obtaining a special permit. She commended the members of the Planning Board for their professionalism. Councilor Mercier also disputes the need for additional dormitory beds in Lowell. Next she says the proposal did not fit within the character of the neighborhood. She then asks how that “monstrosity and albatross” would be filled if it fails as a dormitory. Councilor Mercier asks the city manager if there could be restrictions placed on this lot for future use to prevent it from being used by a nonprofit that would not pay real estate taxes. Manager Murphy says there would have been such a requirement on this project had it been built.

D) Timeline for the Eminent Domain Process. Councilor Kennedy says there’s no need to comment on this report because the council has already voted to start this process. He also says the city will be before the MSBA at its June meeting with this proposal.

E) Spring Cleaning Procedures.

F) Cost Analysis Recycling. Moving from every other week recycling to once per week recycling would cost an additional $800,000 per year. There is an overflow container at the city’s public works department that residents can use.

G) Greening Communities Program – city manager will provide a report on city policy on replacing trees that are cut down.

H) Meters for Homeless

Communication-Appoint Nathan Freehling to Veterans Commission – unanimously appointed.


Vote-Apply, Accept, Expend Grant from Mass. Div. of Energy Resources Green Communities Div. for $250,000. This will help convert to LED lighting in some schools and will undertake other energy savings measures.

Vote-Auth. Mgr. Ex. License Agreement with Top Donut 2018-2021. Approved.

Vote-Authorize Mgr. Ex. Temporary License Agreement with Mark Van Der Hyde for a public art project. Approved.

Vote-Authorize Mgr. Ex. Temporary License Agreement with Mark Van Der Hyde for a public art project. Approved.

Vote-Transfer 15,000 to fund appraisals for 75 Arcand Drive. City has a list of 15 appraisers that it has used. City will solicit quotes from all of these individuals for this process. Approved.

Vote-Transfer 36,000 to fund appraisals for Rt. 38 widening project. Approved.

Vote-Transfer 54,000 for additional expenses at Lowell Police Dept. Approved.


Bond Sale Premium Application Order. Approved.


Ordinance-Create one new grant position Resource Room Navigator and establish salary in the Career Center of Lowell. Referred to public hearing. This was done by a police officer who recently retired. This job will now be done by a new civilian hire while the police officer will be replaced by a new officer who will be assigned to street duty.

Ordinance-Create one Systems and Project Specialist position and establish salary in the Police Dept


Neighborhoods SC March 6, 2018. Subcmte Chair Cirillo reports on meeting held earlier tonight. Discussion was mostly about parking, especially in city garages.

Misc. – CH LH CrossPoint Owners, LLC request license for additional storage of flammables (7,500 gals. AST Fuel Oil #2/Diesel II) at 900 Chelmsford Street.


C. Cirillo – Req. City Mgr. Distribute To All Condominium Associations Multiple Copies Of The Parking Rates To Be Given To Residents Who Pay For Garage Parking. This Is So Each Individual Residence Will Be Given A Copy To Make It Clear To Them What Rate/Senior Discount Rate They Are Responsible For. Also, Direct The Parking Director To Post The Rates Each Parking Garage In A Very Easily Accessible Viewing Area. Councilor Kennedy says this is a good motion but he would also like to see notices of parking rates and discounts sent with the city census. They also plan to send the rates to all people who rent space in city garages.

C. Cirillo – Req. City Mgr. Provide A Report For Budgeted Cost And Implementation Regarding These Options For Bicycle Safety: 1. Painting And Upkeep Of Bicycle Lanes Throughout The City. 2. Bike Lanes Being Segregated By A Barrier For Added Safety. Two residents speak about the need for better facilities for bicyclists. Councilor Cirillo says that since we have a complete streets policy, we should be keeping up our bike lanes as well as we keep up the lanes used by cars. This is important for the safety of bicyclists abut also for car operators. Councilor Mercier says she agrees there should be proper line striping but she can’t support segregated barriers for added safety. Asks what the city would look like with so many barriers. It might be better for safety but it would not make for a comforting city. She asks how cars parking along the curb are supposed to get to parking spaces when there’s a bicycle barrier in the way. She adds that it might impede snow removal. Councilor Kennedy says not all barriers are the same. In Pittsburgh, for instance, the barrier is a series of red posts that are more of a visual barrier. He says we may not be able to put barriers up everywhere but there are some places it would be appropriate and we should give it a try. He says Pittsburgh has removed a lot of cars from its central business district because it has promoted other means of transportation. Motion passes 8 to 1 (Mercier opposed).

C. Cirillo – Req. City Mgr. Provide A Report Updating The City Council Regarding The Lowell Complete Streets Policy Enacted on August 11, 2015 And What Goals For Travel Mode Distribution, i.e. Bicycle Routes, Have Been Developed And/Or Achieved In Accordance With The Policy Within The Stated Incremental Five Year Time Period Which Will End On August 11, 2020. Councilor Cirillo explains this report should explain what has been done to further the Complete Street policy adopted by the city back in 2015.

C. Elliott – Req. City Mgr. appoint a public safety personnel/security professional to the School Building Committee to ensure safety issues are addressed at high school.

C. Elliott/C. Nuon – Req. Board of Parks consider re-naming Clemente Park to Palin Park and ensure stone is re-located to the new Roberto Clemente Field at Komanzelis Park. {Motion Withdrawn; will refile at future date].

C. Mercier – Req. City Mgr. have proper department post parking garage fees; especially for seniors (62 and up) monthly rate of $26; and in addition if there are remaining excise tax bills to be delivered include said rate list in the billing envelope.

C. Mercier – Req. City Mgr. provide an update regarding the need for a supervisor for the COOP Team (this involves addressing opioid crisis). Manager says he plans to bring forward an ordinance to create this position next week.

C. Nuon – Req. City Mgr. have DPD organize a business group representing entities along the Bridge and Middlesex Street business corridors. Councilor Nuon would like the same process that was followed with Cupples Square applied to Bridge and Middlesex Street business owners to assist them in forming neighborhood business associations.

C. Nuon – Req. City Mgr. have Elections Department and any other department work with UML and the Lowell Plan regarding developing a plan to increase civic engagement in the City. Councilor Nuon says a number of organizations in Lowell have been working to increase civic engagement overall in Lowell, not just increase voter participation.

C. Nuon – Req. City Mgr. have LPD provide a report regarding any incidents occurring at the Edge Dormitory Project. Councilor Leahy says he feels this motion is targeting this project so he won’t support it. Councilor Kennedy says we have obtained reports on other apartment complexes and no one accused the city of targeting them. Councilor Conway asks the City Solicitor who says nothing prevents the council for taking this basic investigatory step. Councilor Kennedy says the only way to know if there are problems is to get a report. Passes 7 to 2 (Leahy and Mercier against).

C. Nuon – Req. City Mgr. have proper department improve sidewalk conditions along the Bridge and Middlesex Street business corridors. Councilor Nuon says we should support our local businesses by making it easier for residents to walk to them.

M. Samaras – Req. City Mgr. instruct the proper department make all city parking garage rates (including any senior or other applicable discounts) readily available to constituents in both digital and printed formats that can be shared.

CITY COUNCIL – EXECUTIVE SESSION – cancelled. However, Mayor Samaras will appoint an ad hoc subcommittee on decorum at city council meetings. Councilor Mercier thanks Councilor Leahy for swapping seats with her.

ADJOURNMENT – Meeting adjourns at 8:22 pm

One Response to Lowell City Council meeting: March 6, 2018

  1. Joe Boyle says:

    Renaming Clemente Park for Sarah Palin is a bold move. Would we have to allow drilling?