City Council Preview – May 21, 2019

This week’s City Council  agenda begins with the continue discussion and public hearing on the establishment of an ordinance creating a “Monument Committee.”  It ends with another Executive Session.

“The Monument Committee shall establish policies governing the naming or dedication of public spaces, whether they be inside public buildings or on public grounds.  The policy would include a standard application process; naming or dedication criteria; design guidelines; insurance and maintenance requirements; renaming or rededication requests; and associated fees.”

It is not clear to me if the City Council makes the final decision.  The proposed ordinance does state that if the “naming or dedication relate to park land, the Monument Committee shall make recommendations to the Board of Parks.”  That statement implies that if it does not relate to park lands, the recommendation will be made to another entity.

MOTION RESPONSES                                                                                      

Tree Planting Schedule: Motion (3/26/19) by Councilor Karen Cirillo “Request City Manager provide City Council with citywide spring tree planting schedule.”  The response was submitted by Diane N. Tradd, Assistant City Manager/DPD Director and Shannon Cohan, Superintendent of Parks. The DPD provided an explanation of the tree maintenance procedure and that “The Parks Department currently has plans to plant 17 trees in the next several weeks, many of these tree planting locations were determined in coordination with the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust.”

85 Eleventh St: Motion (5/16/2019) by Councilor Rita Mercier “Request City Manager have Development Services address neighborhood concerns at 85 Eleventh St. such as boarding house, occupants and status and give a full report to the City Council.  The response was submitted R. Eric Slagle, Director of Development Services.  The property was inspected by the Local Inspector, the Board Enforcement Agent, and the Building Commissioner.  The landlord was notified that “the letting of rooms is not permissible in a single family home to no more than 3 unrelated parties. There are to be no locking devices on the interior rooms. Secondly, permits are to be obtained immediately for all unpermitted work in the structure.”  The occupancy number and situation will be changed and the Inspection Department will monitor.

Edge Private Dorm: Motion (5/1/2019) by Councilor Rodney Elliott “Request City Manager provide a report regarding zoning requirements and police activity at the “Edge” Apartment Complex. The response was submitted by R. Eric Slagle, Director of Development Services and Kelly Richardson, Superintendent of Police.  The 9-page report details the zoning conditions under which the facility was allowed to be built and operate.  It provides the number and type of residents as well as the number and types of calls made to the police.  The Council will need to decide what to do with this extensive information.

First St Corridor Illegal Dumping: Motion (5/7/2019) by Councilor Rita Mercier “Request City Manager have proper department install a sign at the First Street side of hill area under surveillance and install cameras to identify and fine people who are dumping trash there.” Update Motion by Councilor Karen Cirillo “Request the City Manager have the proper department contact Mass Department of Transportation to request the State’s Inmate Labor Program come to Lowell and remove litter along our state-owned roads.” As part of their 2-page response, MassDEP, with their expertise and access to new and better technology, will be initiating a higher level of surveillance of the sites along First Street. We will be continuing this surveillance with MassDEP through the spring, and will keep the City Council updated on the progress of this enforcement.”

Pest Control: Motion by Councilor John Leahy “Request City Manager provide update regarding pest control in the Lowell Public Schools.” The response was provided by Rick Underwood, Director of Operations and Maintenance for the Lowell Public Schools.  Mr. Underwood’s memo is pretty straight forward and he has to be complimented for his directness.  A lot of the problems stem from food storage and areas of food consumption.

Vaping: Motion (5/15/2019) by Councilor Rodney Elliot “Request City Manager/Health Director report on e-cigarettes/vaping regulations and outreach programs to inform public of health risks.” Kerran Vigroux, Director of Health & Human Services provided the information provided in the public education campaign.



Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP) : Christine McCall, Senior Planner Yovani Baez-Rose, Design Planner submitted an update on the Open Space Plan on behalf of the Department of Planning and Development. “This plan is a comprehensive update to the 2013 Lowell Open Space and Recreation Plan and has been developed in response to changing needs of the public as expressed during an extensive community outreach process… For final approval of our OSRP, we are required to receive letters of review and approval from City Council, Planning Board, and Northern Middlesex council of Governments (NMCOG). Final approval of our Open Space and Recreation Plan, 2019-2025 will allow us to participate in DCS grant rounds and receive final grant payment.

The second item on the Informational portion of the agenda is a updated Presentation on Lord Overpass reconfiguration.



Authorize City Manager Execute Lease Agreement with Nicholas Sarris as trustee of One Hundred Seven Merrimack Street Realty Trust for 107 Merrimack Street — Career Center.

Authorize City Manager Execute License Agreement with Lupoli Companies, LLC for overhanging signs and lights at 165 Thorndike Street at Thorndike Exchange.

Transfer 175,000, Police Department to purchase two cars and to cover the purchase of fuel for the remainder of FY19.

Transfer 890,000, Law to cover costs associated with Workers Compensation and 111F of the City.


Councilor Rodney Elliott “Request City Manager explore possibility of establishing a resource recovery station for bulk items now being disposed illegally.”

Councilor Vesna Nuon “Request City Manager report on Capital Plan regarding a new fire truck at the Stevens Street Fire Station.”

Councilor Vesna Nuon “Request City Manager Review inspection and enforcement procedures within development services to determine if better efficiency can be achieved through transfer of data via tablets or other electronic means with the aim of improving turnaround time without adding personnel.”

Councilor Karen Cirillo “Request City Manager add Ames St. And Mill St. in the Back Central Neighborhood to the Paving List.”

Councilor Karen Cirillo “Request City Manager add Western Avenue in The Acre/Highlands to the Paving List.”

Councilor Karen Cirillo “Request City Manager have the Proper Department add a “Slow-Children at Play” sign on Mt. Washington Street 0ff Pawtucket Street.”

Councilor Karen Cirillo “Request City Manager have the Proper Department look into making the vacant lot at the corner of Merrill Street and Rogers Street into a Car Condo.

Councilor Karen Cirillo “Request City Manager have the Proper Department look into making the vacant lot on Elm Street into Neighborhood Parking.

Councilor John Leahy “Request City Manager have the Proper Department provide a report to City Council regarding traffic plan surrounding construction projects in the City over the next five years.


2 Responses to City Council Preview – May 21, 2019

  1. Dean says:

    Edge Dorm : There should have been a limit on student apartments that could be rented . Let’s say a 20% or 30 % limit per complex.

  2. Dean says:

    What happens when a student is caught vaping in the middle schools or high school ?