CITY OF WORCESTER

JOURNAL OF THE CITY COUNCIL

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Esther Howland Chamber

Convened: 6:36 P.M.

Adjourned: 7:57 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

City Manager
Edward M. Augustus, Jr.

City Auditor
Robert V. Stearns

Councilors

Morris A. Bergman Khrystian E. King
Konstantina B. Lukes Candy Mero-Carlson
Sarai Rivera Sean M. Rose City Clerk
Susan M. Ledoux
Gary Rosen George J. Russell
Kathleen M. Toomey Matthew E. Wally
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


1.

INVOCATION - Participating members of the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts

2.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE & STAR SPANGLED BANNER

3.

ROLL CALL - All present with the Mayor as the Chair.

Note: Assistant City Clerk Stephen A.J. Pottle, clerk

4.

PROCLAMATIONS, ACKNOWLEDGMENTS, MOMENTS OF SILENCE

4a.

Mayor Petty recognized members from the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts, including the federation’s Executive Director Steven Schimmel, who read a statement in regards to the tragic shooting at Chabad of Poway outside of San Diego, which took one life. Mayor Petty also recognized Rabbi Levi Liberow of the Central Massachusetts Torah Center, Rabbi Aviva Fellman of Congregation Beth Israel and Rabbi Yakov Blotner of Shaarai Torah West Synagogue, who made statements and lead the Invocation.

 

4b.

Mayor Petty presented a Key to the City to Aaron Ortiz in recognition of his victory in the 2019 World Kickboxing Association (WKA) K1 World Championship on March 14, 2019. Mr. Ortiz was in attendance to receive the Key to the City.

 

4c.

Mayor Petty presented a Key to the City to the three recipients of the Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards. Thomas Barrett, Worcester Public Schools Coordinator of Buildings and Grounds, Nicole Cooney, the Finance Manager for the Department of Public Works and Parks and Michael Daigneault, the Assistant Director of Water for the Water Division of Public Works and Parks were all in attendance to accept the Keys of the City, as was Eric Kneeland from the Worcester Research Bureau.

 

5.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES

5a.

Order - That the City Council of the City of Worcester hereby approves the minutes of the City Council Meeting of April 9, 2019.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

6.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

6a.

Mayor Petty recognized the following speakers:
1. Joseph C. O’Brien, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of #8g CC, #8h CC and #8i CC
2. Deborah Packard, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of #8g CC, #8h CC and #8i CC
3. Eleanor Gilmore, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of #8g CC, #8h CC and #8i CC
4. Frank Callahan, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of #8g CC, #8h CC and #8i CC
5. Joyce Mandell, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of #8g CC, #8h CC and #8i CC
6. William S. Coleman, III, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of #8g CC, #8h CC and #8i CC
7. Alex Guardiola, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of #10a CC

 

7.

HEARING & ORDER

7a.

Hearing: CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS for a conduit location at: 29 DOLLY DRIVE Granting permission to CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS for a conduit location at: 29 DOLLY DRIVE

Attachments

Councilor Russell moved to recuse himself from the Item and left the room. Hearing Held & Order adopted

 

8.

PETITIONS

8a.

Garret Mierzejewski request installation of signs or physical barriers to prevent motor vehicles from parking on the sidewalk in the vicinity of 707 Millbury St.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

8b.

Patricia Horgan et al request installation of resident permit parking on Reynolds St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

8c.

Eric Dupuis of United Refrigeration request installation of a commercial loading zone near the driveway of 25 Crescent St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

8d.

Leo Hoffman request installation of a traffic light at the intersection of North St. and Grove St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

8e.

Britney Atwater request installation of a flashing yellow pedestrian signal for the crosswalk at the intersection of Moore Ave. and Pleasant St.

Attachments

Referred to Traffic and Parking Committee

 

8f.

NATIONAL GRID for a conduit location at: WILTSHIRE DRIVE

Attachments

Hearing set for May 7, 2019 at 6:30 P.M.

 

8g.

Eleanor Gilmore, on behalf of the Yes for a Better Worcester Coalition, requests the city administration create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to centralize our city’s housing development resources. An Affordable Housing Trust Fund, managed by an appointed Board of Trustees, acts as a fiscal conduit for municipal-based affordable housing funds – including, but not limited to, in-lieu development fees, hotel taxes, permit/licensing fees – and provides critical technical support to all potential housing developers. As Worcester navigates its exciting renaissance, let’s join the 109 other municipalities in Massachusetts who have already established Affordable Housing Trust Funds. Further, we request that the City Manager and the City Council appropriate $300,000 toward the creation of this fund in the 2020 fiscal operational year budget.

Attachments

Referred to the City Manager

 

8h.

Frank Callahan, on behalf of the Yes for A Better Worcester Coalition, request the city administration create a new Community Recreation and Open Space Fund to provide matching or seed funding for small-scale, community-led projects that can be difficult to fund through the municipal budget process. Potential project types include school playgrounds, pocket parks, community gardens, open space acquisition, and amenities for existing open space areas. We further request that the City Manager and the City Council appropriate $300,000 for the fund in the 2020 fiscal year operational budget.

Attachments

Referred to the City Manager

 

8i.

Deborah Packard on behalf of the Yes for A Better Worcester Coalition request the City Manager and the City Council allocate $250,000 of tax levy funds to be used to create a Preservation Fund that could to be awarded in small grants to small businesses, homeowners and non-profits for maintenance and repair of historic structures. Worcester is blessed with landmark buildings that tell us who we are, provide our city with its unique character, promote a sense of community pride, and generate economic development. Upkeep of these important structures is often costly, deferred maintenance can eventually be a trigger for demolition, and inappropriate alteration can compromise their significance. Further, we request the City annually apply for $50,000 in funds from the Massachusetts Historical Commission Survey and Planning Grant Program and annually allocate the $50,000 required match for those funds. The funds generated would be used to hire an architectural historian who would conduct required research on historic properties for placement on the MACRIS (Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System) List and/or the National Register of Historic Places, and to be used to establish Local Historic Districts.

Attachments

Referred to the City Manager

 

9.

CHAIRMAN'S ORDERS

9a.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, PARKS AND RECREATION - Request the Parks, Recreation & Cemetery Commission amend their Rule 26, regarding motorized boats on bodies of water, to require a public hearing, prior to the granting of a special permit for any event requesting the use of motorized boating activities on Coe's Reservoir.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9b.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, PARKS AND RECREATION - Request City Manager provide sporadic enforcement/oversight at Coes Reservoir as well as other water bodies that do not allow the use of motorized boating.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9c.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, PARKS AND RECREATION - Request the Commissioner of Public Works & Parks provide City Council with the report from the consultants who made design recommendations that would prevent baseballs from causing property damage to adjacent neighbors at the baseball field at Vernon Hill Park and further, report the cost for implementing the recommendations.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9d.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, PARKS AND RECREATION - Request Commissioner of Public Works & Parks report to City Council the cost to revert the baseball field at Vernon Hill Park back to its original design.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

9e.

FROM THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, PARKS AND RECREATION - Request Commissioner of Public Works & Parks, once parking has been allowed on the grassy area next to the Vernon Hill baseball field, provide City Council with periodic updates concerning the condition of this grassy area.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

10.

ORDERS

10a.

Request City Manager provide City Council with an update concerning the city’s ability to accept and approve small cell technology applications. (Wally)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

10b.

To prevent a traffic tragedy from happening, request Police Chief provide speed enforcement on Durant Way. (Rosen)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

10c.

Request City Manager work with the Head Librarian to create an internship program where University Park Campus High School and Claremont Academy High School students would work at the Goddard Branch of the Worcester Public Library. (Rivera)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

10d.

Request City Manager request Police Chief provide foot patrol for parts of Main St., including from Chandler St. to King St., Hammond St. to Freeland St. and Pleasant St. to west of Townsend St. (Rivera)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

10e.

Since many Worcester individuals and families who have difficulty purchasing enough food to avoid hunger obtain basic provisions and nonperishable items from city food banks, request the City Manager and City Council consider supporting a volunteer-driven program in which the public would be asked to occasionally purchase a package of yellow trash bags and leave them in a designated spot at the market of purchase for project volunteers to pick up and drop off at the aforementioned food banks (or certain social service agencies) for distribution at no charge to people in need. (Rosen)

Attachments

Councilor Bergman moved to add his name as a sponsor on the Item. Mayor Petty moved to add the entire City Council as sponsors on the Item. Order adopted

 

10f.

Request City Manager consider a pilot program at three busy intersections involving the installation of "3D" crosswalks and report back in 30 days as to the cost in time for budget session deliberations. (Lukes)

Attachments

Mayor Petty moved to add the entire City Council as sponsors on the Item. Order adopted

 

10g.

Request City Manager report to the City Council on what efforts or plans to investigate the existence of leaky gas lines along city streets where public shade tree are located have been made. (Lukes)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

10h.

Request the Mayor/City Manager schedule a meeting prior to the end of this public school year regarding the building of the new Doherty Memorial High School. (Bergman, Wally)

Attachments

Councilor Rivera moved to add her name as a sponsor on the Item. Mayor Petty moved to add the entire City Council as sponsors on the Item. Placed on file

 

10i.

Request City Manager, in an effort to preserve and promote our history, locate funding to restore "ghost signs" throughout the City. (Bergman)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

10j.

Request City Manager provide along with the submission of the 2020 fiscal year budget an estimate of increased real estate taxes, user fees (water and sewer), proposed trash bag increase and any other proposed increases as they will cost the average homeowner. (Lukes)

Attachments

Order adopted

 

10k.

RESCIND AND REASSESS STREET BETTERMENT ASSESSMENT: FENIMORE ROAD

Attachments

Order adopted

 

11.

RESOLUTION

11a.

That the Worcester City Council urges the Legislature to approve the Promise Act to ensure that every family in the city of Worcester has access to excellent public schools. (King)

Attachments

Councilor King moved to Table the Item Under Privilege. Tabled Under Privilege - King

 

12.

RECESS TO FINANCE COMMITTEE - No items pending in Committee

13.

COMMUNICATIONS OF THE CITY AUDITOR

13a.

Transmitting communication relative to Single Audit Report June 30, 2018.

Attachments

Referred to Municipal Operations Committee

 

13b.

Transmitting communication relative to the DCU Center - Annual Audit.

Attachments

Referred to Municipal Operations Committee

 

14.

COMMUNICATIONS

14a.

Department of Public Utilities transmitting Condensed Financial Return for year ended December 31, 2018 from NStar Gas Company, doing business as Eversource Energy.

Attachments

Placed on file

 

15.

REPORTS OF THE PLANNING BOARD

15a.

REPORT OF THE PLANNING BOARD Upon the Petition of Attorney Donald O'Neil on behalf of Plaka Realty LLC and Peter Stathoulopoulos request to amend the Zoning Map by extending the Business Limited (BL-1.0) Zoning District and the Commercial Corridor Overlay District (CCOD-E) in the vicinity of 57 Highland St. to include two additional parcels of land in their entirety located at 33 & 35 Wachusett St.

Attachments

Referred to Economic Development Committee

 

15b.

REPORT OF THE PLANNING BOARD Upon the Petition of James Gamble request sewers be installed Gensell Ave.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

15c.

REPORT OF THE PLANNING BOARD Upon the Petition of Brian Restrepo request Forkey Ave. be made public.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

15d.

REPORT OF THE PLANNING BOARD Upon the Petition of Brian Restrepo request Sherer Trail be made public.

Attachments

Referred to Public Works Committee

 

16.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

16a.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Upon the Report of the Planning Board Upon the Petition of Robert Longden, Esq. on behalf of New Garden Park, Inc. request changing the zoning designation of Lot 1, Lot 2 and Lot 4, which is part of 305 Belmont St. from BG-2.0 & ML-0.5 to BG-3.0: recommend passage of the accompanying proposed Ordinance.

Attachments

Councilor Wally moved to recuse himself from the Item and left the room. Voted to advertise proposed Ordinance

 

17.

REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, PARKS AND RECREATION

17a.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, PARKS AND RECREATION Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to the Mulcahy Master Plan Revision and the announcement of public hearings: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

17b.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, PARKS AND RECREATION Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to a public hearing for the assessment of municipal parks: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

17c.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, PARKS AND RECREATION Upon the Communication of the City Manager transmitting informational communication detailing the Worcester Police Department’s initiative to educate students on bicycle safety: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

17d.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, PARKS AND RECREATION Upon the Petition of Aurelia Baldino request City Council consider putting a dog park in the Belmont St. area: recommend Petition be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

17e.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, PARKS AND RECREATION Upon the Communication of Andrew Nilson of Childs Engineering Corp transmitting an update to the Environmental Notification Form for Waterfront Rehabilitation at Regatta Point Park: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

17f.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, PARKS AND RECREATION Upon the Communication of Andrew Nilson of Childs Engineering Corp transmitting Environmental Notification Form for Waterfront Rehabilitation at Regatta Point Park: recommend Communication be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

17g.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, PARKS AND RECREATION Upon the Order of Councilor Gary Rosen - Request the City Council's Standing Committee on Youth, Parks and Recreation review the present Parks Department rules and policy, if any, dealing with the use of motorized boats on Coes Reservoir and determine whether such vehicles should be banned from that water body: recommend Order be placed on file.

Attachments

Accepted

 

17h.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, PARKS AND RECREATION Upon the Order of Councilor Gary Rosen - Request the Committee on Youth, Parks and Recreation hold a public hearing on the progress being made in discussions between the city administration and the local skateboarding community as both parties work together to find an acceptable, affordable and safe site for a new skate park: recommend Order be placed on file.

Attachments

Placed on file

 

18.

TABLED UNDER PRIVILEGE

18a.

COMMUNICATION of the City Manager recommending approval of the FY20 Capital Improvement Plan. (Tabled Under Privilege - Lukes April 23, 2019)

Attachments

Referred to Finance Committee

 

18b.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS Upon the Petition of Susan Burns & Mary Landry request abatement of sewer betterment assessment #31247 in the amount of $36,000.00 for Luther Ave.: recommend Petition be denied. (Tabled Under Privilege - Rose April 23, 2019)

Attachments

Councilor Lukes moved to recuse herself from the Item and left the room. Councilor Russell moved to Table the Item. Tabled - Russell

 

19.

TABLED ITEMS

19a.

RESOLUTION of Councilor Konstantina B. Lukes – That the City Council go on record in favor of supporting the Worcester Bravehearts as they plan for the future. (Tabled Under Privilege - Lukes August 21, 2018 and Tabled Under Privilege - Petty September 12, 2018 and Tabled - Lukes September 25, 2018)

Attachments

No action taken

 

19b.

COMMUNICATION of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to a legal opinion concerning the extent of discussion of City Council matters by City Councilors outside of City Council meetings. (Tabled Under Privilege - Bergman February 5, 2019 and Tabled - Bergman February 26, 2019)

Attachments

No action taken

 

19c.

ORDER of Councilor George J. Russell, Councilor Sarai Rivera, Councilor Gary Rosen, Councilor Konstantina B. Lukes, Councilor Khrystian E. King and Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson - Request City Council have the City Council Standing Committees on Public Works and Municipal Operations conduct a joint meeting about the future recommended staffing of the City Council office as well as logistics for office space for staff and City Council. Further, request the joint committee discuss potential recommendations regarding the job description and role of the City Council staff persons and further, encourage other City Councilors who are not members of the joint committee to attend and be included in the conversation. (Tabled - Petty February 26, 2019)

Attachments

No action taken

 

19d.

COMMUNICATION of the City Manager transmitting informational communication relative to information to assist in the hiring of a City Council staff member. (Tabled Under Privilege - Lukes March 12, 2019; Tabled Under Privilege - Petty March 19, 2019 and Tabled - Petty March 26, 2019)

Attachments

No action taken

 

19e.

COMMUNICATION of the City Manger transmitting informational communication relative to a legal opinion as to the jurisdiction of office space and facilities within City Hall. (Tabled Under Privilege - Mero-Carlson March 12, 2019; Tabled Under Privilege - Petty March 19, 2019 and Tabled - Petty March 26, 2019)

Attachments

No action taken

 

19f.

CHAIRMAN'S ORDER FROM THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS - Request City Manager consider looking into moving forward with all portions of the Comprehensive Clean City Program, except for the portions of the program associated with the clear bag recycling pickup. (Tabled - Mero-Carlson April 23, 2019)

Attachments

Councilor Lukes moved to be recused from the Item and left the room. Councilor Russell moved to take the Item off the Table. Taken off the Table on a roll call vote of 10 Yeas and 0 Nays (Lukes absent). Placed on file

 

20.

BUSINESS UNDER SUSPENSION OF RULES - Items brought forth under suspension at the April 23, 2019 City Council meeting

20a.

ORDER of Councilor Khrystian E. King – Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning whether there is a way to track the number of homeless individuals who have passed away due to lack of services. – Item #19a CC Order adopted

 

20b.

ORDER of Councilor Khrystian E. King – Request City Manager identify for City Council any legislation at the State level that may address needs the City has as it pertains to homelessness issues. – Item #19b CC Order adopted

 

20c.

ORDER of Councilor Khrystian E. King – Request City Manager work with the Police Chief and the Inspectional Services Commissioner to address concerns raised in regards to the homeless shelter on Queen St. – Item #19c CC Order adopted

 

20d.

ORDER of Councilor Sarai Rivera – Request City Manager work with the Police Chief to present statistics to the local colleges detailing how safe the city of Worcester is, as a means to encourage youths to come to the downtown area and to city attractions. – Item #19d CC Order adopted

 

20e.

ORDER of Councilor Konstantina B. Lukes – Request City Manager request Police Chief provide City Council with a report concerning if all operational needs are being met, in anticipation of the FY2020 Budget Hearings. – Item #19e CC Order adopted

 

20f.

ORDER of Councilor Khrystian E. King – Request City Manager provide City Council with a report outlining the protocol, regulations and procedures associated with the Worcester Police Department’s body-worn cameras Pilot Program. – Item #19f CC Order adopted

 

20g.

ORDER of Mayor Joseph M. Petty – Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the status of renewable energy in the city of Worcester and where the city plans to be in twenty (20) years. – Item #19g CC Order adopted

 

20h.

ORDER of Councilor Konstantina B. Lukes – Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the debt service associated with the FY20 Capital Improvement Plan. – Item #19h CC Order adopted

 

20i.

ORDER of Councilor Kathleen M. Toomey – Request City Manager consider regulations pertaining to driving under the influence of substances when drafting legislation for electric scooter rental businesses. – Item #19i CC Order adopted

 

20j.

ORDER of Councilor Kathleen M. Toomey – Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning findings made by WPI regarding restoring the Burnside Fountain. – Item #19j CC Order adopted

 

20k.

ORDER of Councilor Kathleen M. Toomey – Request City Manager provide clean up along Route 20 in the vicinity of Greenwood St. – Item #19k CC Order adopted

 

20l.

PETITION of Councilor Morris A. Bergman on behalf of Kathleen Despotopulos request adding the name of WWII Veteran, Army PFC John McManus to the WWII War Memorial. – Item #19l Referred to Veterans’ and Military Affairs Committee

 

20m.

ORDER of Councilor Konstantina B. Lukes – Request City Manager look into littering taking place on Union St. – Item #19m Order adopted

 

21.

NEW BUSINESS UNDER SUSPENSION OF RULES - Items brought forth under suspension at the April 30, 2019 City Council meeting

21a.

Motion Rivera @ #10f CC – Request City Manager consider any painting of 3D crosswalks as part of a pilot program be done in school areas.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

21b.

Motion Bergman @ #10h CC – Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning whether the Massachusetts School Building Authority allows for compensation of swimming pools. Further, request City Manager provide City Council with information concerning the feasibility of installing a swimming pool in the new Doherty Memorial High School.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

21c.

Motion Lukes @ #13b CC – Request City Manager provide City Council with the contract between the City of Worcester and DCU Center. Further, request City Manager provide City Council with information concerning the process for reviewing the contract, including what City Council’s role would be during such a review.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

21d.

Motion Toomey @ #13b CC – Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the economic spin off from people coming into the city during events at the DCU Center.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

21e.

Motion Lukes @ #18a CC – Request City Manager provide City Council with the loan amortization schedule for loan orders associated with the FY20 Capital Improvement Plan.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

21f.

Motion Toomey – Suspension of Rules – Request City Manager reach out to National Grid to address concerns over how much power is being sent to the block that includes That’s Entertainment, located at 244 Park Ave.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

21g.

Motion Toomey – Suspension of Rules – Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks complete a long patch street repair to address potholes at Elm St. and Chestnut St.

Attachments

Order adopted

 

21h.

Motion Russell – Suspension of Rules – Request City Manager clean up properties at the corner of Lake Ave. and Sunderland Rd., the corner of Route 20 and Greenwood St. and on McKeon Rd in the vicinity of the Blackstone Visitor Center.

Attachments

Order adopted