CITY OF WORCESTER

Public Works Committee Meeting

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 5:30 P.M.

Adjourned: 7:00 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson George J Russell
Vice Chairperson Matthew E Wally
Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor George J Russell Vice Chairperson Councilor Matthew E Wally Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson
 
Also:Commissioner of Public Works and Parks Jay Fink Assistant Commissioner of Public Works and Parks Russ Adams Upper Blackstone Clean Water Engineer Director Karla Sangrey City Clerk Nikolin Vangjeli
 
1.

Approval of the Minutes

1a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee of Public Works hereby approves the minutes of the Public Works Committee meeting on February 2, 2021.

View Agenda

Chairperson Councilor Russell read the item and moved for a roll call vote to adopt the item.
Order adopted on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

2.

Public Participation

2a.

In order to ensure the continuation of active public engagement, the City of Worcester will now use a phone conference line for members of the public to participate in all public meetings. To participate during the public participation phase of City Council, you may call the direct line indicated: Esther Howland Chamber - 415-655-0001 (Access Code: 157 510 5794) or enter the below URL into your web browser. If you would like to raise your hand when in the meeting as a call-in user during public participation you may dial *3. https://cow.webex.com/cow/onstage/g.php?MTID=e0dfea81cc90d1d0af330105989a22804

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Russell read the item and recognized the following speaker:
1. Victoria DiMassa, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of item #4a

3.

Miscellaneous Items

3a.

Order of Councilor Konstantina B. Lukes - Request Standing Committee on Public Works meet with all utility companies that deal with conduit street construction to discuss the their processes for updating or installing new services to a business or the public. # 15c CC February 7, 2017

In Committee March 8, 2017 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized the following representatives from the utility companies operating in the city:
1. Verizon representative Jorge Medina
2. Spectrum/Charter Communications representative Lazaro Lopez
3. Spectrum/Charter Communications representative Ted Michaud
4. Eversource representative Sean Lauziere
5. National Grid representative Kevin Shaughnessy
6. Verizon representative Ellen Cummings
7. Spectrum/Charter Communications representative Greg Garabedian

Chairperson Councilor Russell read the item and discussed the history of the item and past actions relative to conduit street constructions, and concerns relative to the quality of the street patching resulting from conduit street constructions.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized the Commissioner of Public Works and Parks, who discussed issues concerning uneven roads, water infiltration leading to potholes and challenges relative to street plowing in the winter.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized the Assistant Commissioner of Public Works and Parks, who discussed the responsibility of utility companies and private contractors to ensure the street patching after conduit constructions is up to standards, the different types of patching and causes for unsatisfactory street qualities, and actions taken by DPW to have the street patching corrected.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized the Eversource representative, National Grid representative, Spectrum/Charter Communications representatives and Verizon representative, who discussed their respective companyís policies concerning the standard, inspection and repair of street patching done by the company.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who discussed the processes concerning the construction permit application, notification for the abutting residents, and challenges concerning the time gap between notifying abutting residents and the construction project with the Assistant Commissioner of Public Works and Parks, as well as the Verizon representative, Eversource representative, National Grid representative, and Spectrum/Charter Communications representative.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized the Assistant Commissioner of Public Works and Parks, who discussed the policy concerning the timeline set by companies on construction permit applications.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized Councilor Wally, who discussed the needs to develop a communication protocol for the utility construction projects, such as an emergency 911 for utility companies, and information relative to infrared patching and challenges concerning lack of companies that provide infrared patching services with the Assistant Commissioner of Public Works and Parks.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized the Commissioner of Public Works and Parks, who discussed the vacancy rates in the DPW department, the hiring process for vacancies, and challenges concerning employee retention for the department.

Chairperson Councilor Russell then discussed inspection process for the street trenches and patching done by DPW with the Assistant Commissioner.

Chairperson Councilor Russell brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks consider requiring flow fill for all patches, or provide City Council with a report as to why it cannot be done as a means to safeguard against trenches from caving in and creating bumps in the road.

Chairperson Councilor Russell moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be filed.

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks consider requiring flow fill for all patches, or provide City Council with a report as to why it cannot be done as a means to safeguard against trenches from caving in and creating bumps in the road.

3b.

Order of Councilor George J. Russell - Request City Manager create a program to encourages all city employees and residents to call in complaints to customer service about trash and litter on streets and private property. # 16a CC September 29, 2020

In Committee October 19, 2020 - Held In Committee January 13, 2021 - Held

Attachments
In Committee for informational purposes only

Chairperson Councilor Russell read the item and recognized the Commissioner of Public Works and Parks, who discussed progresses being made relative to technological advances within the department.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who discussed a need for action on advances for encouraging residents to help with trash and litter pickup, as well as hiring additional staff with the Commissioner of Public Works and Parks.

Chairperson Councilor Russell moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be held.

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

3c.

Order of Councilor George J. Russell - Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks invite a representative of the Upper Blackstone Treatment Facility to appear before Public Works Committee to discuss the future of sewer rates and the future of the maintenance of their property on Route 20 and Greenwood St. # 9m CC May 19, 2020

In Committee May 27, 2020 - Held In Committee June 30, 2020 - Held

Attachments
In Committee for informational purposes only

Chairperson Councilor Russell read the item and recognized the Upper Blackstone Clean Water Engineer Director, who discussed the maintenance of the outer appearance for the Upper Blackstone Treatment Facility and the partnership with MassDOT and Inspectional Services to prevent debris and trash from piling up at the facilities with the Commissioner of Public Works and Parks.

Chairperson Councilor Russell brought forth the following two Chairmanís Orders: 1) Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks work with Upper Blackstone Clean Water to resolve the issues concerning litter and trash on the frontage of the Upper Blackstone Treatment Facility; and 2) Request City Manager provide City Council work with Upper Blackstone Clean Water to provide City Council with a detailed, itemized budget of Upper Blackstone Clean Water that includes a breakdown of how the entityís monies are spent.

Chairperson Councilor Russell moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be held.

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks work with Upper Blackstone Clean Water to resolve the issues concerning litter and trash on the frontage of the Upper Blackstone Treatment Facility.

Request City Manager work with Upper Blackstone Clean Water to provide City Council with a detailed, itemized budget of Upper Blackstone Clean Water that includes a breakdown of how the entityís monies are spent.

4.

Construct Sidewalk Petition

4a.

Victoria DiMassa et al request installation of a sidewalk with adequate drainage on the west side of Flagg St. from Chiltern Hill Dr. to High Ridge Rd. to improve the safety of drivers and pedestrians on Flagg St. # 7b CC October 22, 2019

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Russell read the item and recognized the Assistant Commissioner, who discussed information relative to the petition process to install a sidewalk, cost and payment for the sidewalk, challenges concerning Flagg St. reconstruction and the departmentís recommendation to add Flagg St. to the Citywide Transportation Master Plan operated by Office of Planning and Regulatory Services.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized Councilor Wally, who discussed the benefits of moving the project to the Office of Planning and Regulatory Services in hopes that the item could be moved forward.

Chairperson Councilor Russell moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be referred to Office of Planning and Regulatory Services.

Recommend Refer to Office of Planning and Regulatory Services on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

5.

Easement Petition

5a.

Scott Kerner request removal of a sewer easement located at 67 Millbrook St. # 9d CC December 15, 2020

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Russell read the item and recognized the Assistant Commissioner of Public Works and Parks, who provided the recommendation to approve the item.

Chairperson Councilor Russell moved for a roll call vote to accept the recommendation of the item.

Recommend Approval on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

6.

ADA Mat and Ramp Petition

6a.

Councilor George J. Russell on behalf of Brian Keyo request sidewalk replacement in the vicinity of 2 Beeching St., including the replacement of ADA handicap corner bubble pads, which are missing from both corners of Beeching St. and Pleasant St. # 8a CC January 19, 2021

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Russell read the item and recognized the Assistant Commissioner of Public Works and Parks, who provided the recommendation to approve the item.

Chairperson Councilor Russell moved for a roll call vote to accept the recommendation of the item.

Recommend Approval on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays