Lowell City Council Preview: April 23, 2018

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

After a two week hiatus, the City Council returns with a new City Manager and a full agenda. This week’s City Council agenda has only three motion responses but also has 8 votes that `the Council has to take on ordinances, policies, fund transfers and easements.

I assume that in addition to the published agenda, City Manager Donoghue will discuss the heating system at the High School and perhaps her decision to curtail overtime and implement a soft hiring freeze.


Streetlights: Motion by Councilor Karen Cirillo (4/10/18) request City Manager instruct the proper department provide a report of any broken streetlights that are in need of replacement and in the report have protective options for the lights, for example a grate placed underneath.

Response was prepared by Jim Donison, Public Works Commissioner: The one-page report is comprehensive.  The City has “contracted Coviello Electric for the inspection and maintenance of the streetlights throughout the City.”  He also informed us that it takes an average 3.5 days to change a reported outage. In March 2018, there were 86 reported outages, 71 of which were National Grid’s responsibility. Larger scale issues that require the utility to address are communicated to National Grid.

Glenellyn Rd and Paving: Motion by Councilor Ed Kennedy (4/10/18) request City Manager add Glenellyn Road to the repaving list and take immediate steps to repair the potholes on Glenellyn Road.

Response was prepared by Jim Donison, Public Works Commissioner.  In addition to replying that DPW has recently performed pothole repairs to Glenellyn Road to address the immediate repairs, he provides a 3-page report, including a map, on the current street paving effort.

 Moody St Playground: Motions were made by 3 different City Councilors, Rita Mercier, Vesna Nuon, and Ed Kennedy (4/10/18) to improve and/or create a playground/park on Moody Street.

This response was a joint effort between Jim Donison, Public Works Commissioner and Diane N. Tradd, Assistant City Manager/DPD Director.  Unfortunately, “Due to very specific playground guidelines for fall zones the area available at the playground is quite limited for new equipment. With the assistance of the playground representative and after extensive measurements at the site we have determined that new park features including a slide (for ages 2-12) and four interactive panels can be added to the park. The cost proposal for the slide and activity panels is $15,000, this price includes installation costs.”


  1. Vote to establish a 3% local tax on marijuana sales.
  2. Vote to execute a non-binding preliminary agreement with U.S. government to exchange some land. This is in relation to the Hamilton Canal development.
  3. Authorizing the City Manager to Accept a Permanent Conservation Easement. This is for extension of the Lowell Riverwalk along the Merrimack River.
  4. Authorizing the City Manager Execute Construction Access Agreement 159 Bridge Street.
  5. Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Permanent Conservation Easement. This is for extension of the Lowell Riverwalk along the Merrimack River
  6. Transfer $220,000 from one account to another to provide adequate funding for medical expenses for various injury accounts.
  7. To transfer funds for hazardous tree removal, grinding and replacement, repair and service of monuments, installation of a roadway in Section 8 of the Westlawn I Cemetery, OT costs related to Memorial Day preparations.
  8. Transfer $71,860 Library For Replacement Of Books, Repairs To Damaged Furniture, Equipment, Janitorial Supplies Due To Flooding In January.


Councilor Rodney Elliott request City Council allow information regarding biodegradable bags be provided at City Council Meeting On April 24, 2018.

Councilor Rodney Elliott request City Manager provide a report regarding “air bnb” zoning regulations and rental of units to students.

Councilor Rodney Elliott request City Council discuss setting up Syringe Disposal Response Unit and provide training for additional employees.

Councilor Rita Mercier Councilor request City Manager direct Law Department to officially record at the Registry of Deeds, the deed reflecting the portion of Eaton Street transferred to the VFW Post 663 by Vote of City Council in 2017.

Councilor David Conway request City Manager and Law Department review the feasibility of drafting and implementing an ordinance prohibiting the consumption of marijuana in public.

Councilor Karen Cirillo request City Manager add Park Avenue West to the next re-paving contract.

Councilor Karen Cirillo request City Manager explore feasibility of installing a “do not enter” sign at the bottom of Maryl Drive.

Councilor Ed Kennedy request Economic Development Sub-Committee host a presentation from developers regarding a new hotel and other potential developments within the Hamilton Canal Innovation District.

Councilors Ed Kennedy/E. Cirillo/B. Samaras request City Manager and Board of Parks take necessary steps to ensure that the Page Softball Field At Shedd Park remain dedicated to Girls Softball