Lowell City Council Preview: Oct 22, 2018
Mimi Parseghian Previews tomorrow night’s Lowell City Council meeting:
This week’s City Council agenda has only two motion responses, four votes requested by the Manager and three new motions. I expect the last motion will produce extensive discussion.
The meeting will begin with a Recognition of the 40th Anniversary of the Merrimack Repertory Theater (MRT).
Syringe Pickup Motion (4/24/2018) by Councilor R. Elliott “Request City Council discuss setting up Syringe Disposal Response Unit and provide training for additional employees. The response was submitted by Conor Baldwin, CFO, but it must have been a group effort since Mary Callery, HR Director R. Eric Slagle, Director of Development Services Kerran Vigroux, Director of Health & Human Services were all copied.
The response had two components: the first explained the system that has been set up to alert the authorities of the location of disposed syringes and the second proposed the creation of a new, full-time position to oversee the syringe collection program. The individual would be responsible for “coordinating the City of Lowell’s efforts to address syringe collection throughout the city, as well as engage in community education regarding safe syringe access and disposal.”
Emergency Management Plan Motion (9/25/18) by Mayor B. Samaras “Request City Manager have Emergency Management Team provide an updated report regarding their practices and procedures to the City Council.” George Rose, Deputy Director, Emergency Management, provided the 4-page response.
“The City of Lowell Office of Emergency Management is located at the Central Fire Station [JFK Civic Center] at 99 Moody Street. It is staffed by one full time and one part time employee. The Emergency Management Office answers directly to the Lowell Fire Chief who is designated as Emergency Management Director for the City of Lowell. The City of Lowell Emergency Management Team consists of all City Department Heads. They and/or their designee may be requested to staff the City of Lowell EOC (Emergency Operation Center).”
The City of Lowell emergency plan is probably similar to other municipalities. It includes “Preparedness, Response, Recovery, and Mitigation.” Mr. Rose also explained that The City of Lowell adopted NIMS (National Incident Management System) as the tool for crisis / disaster management.”
VOTES FROM THE CITY MANAGER
Authorizing the City Manager, acting through the Department of Planning and Development, to accept and expend Fiscal Year 2018 earmarked funds in the amount of $100,000.00 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts via the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The City of Lowell desires to accept and expend said earmarked funds for the creation of a study that examines pedestrians and bicycles, to ensure safe passage across the Rourke Bridge, which will be incorporated into its new design being developed in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).
Authorizing the City Manager, acting through the Department of Planning and Development, to accept and expend a Grant in the total amount of $250,000.00 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts via the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development for earmarked funds for the creation of an economic development grant program. The City of Lowell desires to accept and expend said earmarked funds to support emerging businesses that are prepared to move into permanent offices in downtown Lowell as the primary intent of the program is to fill vacant downtown Lowell office space, create jobs and support business activity; and The earmarked funds must be expended during the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.
Authorizing the City Manager on Behalf of the City of Lowell, to accept a gift from Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell, Inc. of labor and materials for the construction of a park at 16 Franklin Street in the City of Lowell.
Authorizing the City Manager on Behalf of the City of Lowell, to accept a gift of Five Thousand ($5,000.00) Dollars from Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc., to be used for costs and expenses associated with the 2018 City of Lights Holiday Celebration.
Councilor R. Mercier/Councilor D. Conway “Request City Manager place Andover Street on schedule to replace and/or repair to Handicap Specifications.
Councilor J. Leahy/Councilor R. Elliott “Request City Manager provide a report regarding the status of the development on Ellis Avenue and in addition provide process on how Council is informed of the actions of the various Regulatory Boards in the City.”
Councilor J. Milinazzo “Request City Manager review the potential to privatize some or all of the custodial and/or maintenance services at School Buildings.