City Council Preview – May 28, 2019

This week’s City Council agenda is dominated by a series of votes required in preparation for the vote on the FY 2020 budget.


No Left Turn Gorham: Motion (5/14/19) by Councilor Karen Cirillo “Request 5/14 City Manager have the proper department replace the ‘No Left Turn’ sign for Elm Street in front of the X-Tra Mart Gas Station on Gorham Street. The response from the Department of Planning and Development is confusing.  “There is not a City of Lowell ordinance restricting left turns at this location. The Sign Department cannot install a sign that is not supported by an ordinance. The Transportation Engineer does not recommend restricting left turns at this location.”

Councilor Cirillo’s motion requests for a “replacement” not a new installation.  Secondly, has there been a review of the minutes of the Zoning and Planning Boards pertaining to conditions of approval for that particular business?

Plastic Bag Ban – Paper Bag Request: Motion by Councilor Karen Cirillo “Request City Manager have proper department contact the community stores which are adhering to the Plastic Ban and Request that they provide paper bags with handles.” In his response, R. Eric Slagle, Director of Development Services provided a copy of a “letter being sent to all properties which are required to comply with the plastic bag ban in Lowell.”

Spring St Paving Request: Motion by Councilor Rita Mercier “Request City Manager Find Ways and Means to have Spring Street Paved.” Christine Clancy, P.E., City Engineer, provided the response and she wrote that “the DPW and Engineering reviewed the condition of Spring Street and patched potholes and roadway depressions with pavement to provide initial improvements. As for a full limit pavement restoration, there is not a current plan to incorporate Spring Street into an upcoming paving list. This request has been noted and Spring Street will be considered in future years of paving lists for when other paving is considered in the vicinity of Spring Street. Since it is an unaccepted public right-of-way, capital funds instead of Ch. 90 funds will have to be utilized to pave the street.”

Project Labor Agreement: Motion (5/14/2019) by Councilor Rita Mercier “Request to authorize City Manager hire an expert in construction and procurement methods, including construction industry labor relations, to conduct and submit to the Council a comparative study analyzing the lawfulness, usefulness and propriety of utilizing a Project Labor Agreement in connection with the Lowell High School Project In order that it be accomplished on budget, on schedule, and with reduced operation and maintenance costs; study should evaluate the adoption of a Project Labor Agreement , to the extent it might satisfy the underlying goals of the Mass. Public Bidding Law (Ch. 149, Sect. 44A-44H).”

Motion (5/14/2019) by Councilor David Conway and Councilor Rodney Elliott “Request City Council discuss Project Labor Agreement to ensure local trades are hired for Lowell High School Construction Project.”

The 11-page response provides a complete and detailed response to these two motions.



Accept timely receipt of Budget FY20.  Public Hearing on Budget will be held on June 11th.

Authorize FY20 budget appropriations. The proposed FY20 Budget is $417,746,634, that includes the general fund and the three enterprise funds, Water, Parking and Wastewater.

Endorse the FY20 – FY24 Capital Plan.

Authorize Manager execute Annual Action Plan FY19 – FY20.



FY2020 Capital Improvements. The sum requested for 16 projects is $25,243,294.

Water Enterprise Capital Improvements $45,000,000.

Wastewater Capital Improvements $67,000,000.



Councilor Rodney Elliott “Request City Manager look into traffic calming measures on Stackpole Street; including possible ‘No Thru Traffic’ sign.”