CITY OF WORCESTER

Economic Development Committee Meeting

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 5:00 P.M.

Adjourned: 6:52 p.m.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Sean M Rose
Vice Chairperson Khrystian E King
Councilor Sarai Rivera
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Sean M Rose Councilor Khrystian E King, who arrived 5:15 P.M. Councilor Sarai Rivera, who participated in the meeting remotely
 
Also:Chief Development Officer Peter Dunn Assistant Chief Development Officer Paul Morano Preservation Planner Michelle Johnstone Deputy City Clerk Stephen A.J. Pottle, clerk
 
1.

Virtual Attendee Call-In Information

1a.

Pursuant to Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021 and in order to ensure active, public engagement, the City of Worcester currently allows for both in-person and remote participation at all City Council and Standing Committee meetings. To partake in the meeting, you may attend the meeting in-person within the meeting location, follow the below link to join via Zoom or dial the direct line as indicated. Economic Development Committee Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/91026766826 Economic Development Committee Zoom Phone Number: (929) 205 6099 Economic Development Committee Zoom Access Code: 910 2676 6826

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Rose read the item and recognized the following speakers:
1. Jason Kauppi, Ayer resident, spoke in opposition to items #4a, #4b and #4c
2. Sue Mailman, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of items #4a, #4b and #4c
3. Frank Callahan, Arlington resident, spoke in favor of items #4a, #4b and #4c
4. Thomas Maloney, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of #4a, #4b and #4c
5. Fred Taylor, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of items #4a, #4b and #4c
6. Mary Vogel, Boston resident, spoke in favor of items #4a, #4b and #4c
7. Patricia Wiener, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of item #3a
8. Juliet Fernandez, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of item #3a
9. Karen Courtney, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of items #4a, #4b and #4c

2.

Approval of the Minutes

2a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee of Economic Development hereby approves the minutes of the Economic Development Committee meeting on June 27, 2023.

View Agenda

Chairperson Councilor Rose read the item and moved for a roll call vote to adopt the item. Order adopted on a roll call vote of 2 Yeas and 0 Nays (King absent)

3.

Historic District Item

3a.

Report of the Historical Commission Upon the Final Study Report for the Proposed Elm Park Neighborhood Local Historic District, to recommend the establishment of the Elm Park Neighborhood Local Historic District. # 16a CC April 25, 2023

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Rose read the item and recognized the Chief Development Officer and Preservation Planner, who provided a presentation relative to the proposed Elm Park Neighborhood Local Historic District.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor King, who discussed the decision to not include sidewalk regulations in the proposed Local Historic District with the Preservation Planner.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor Rivera, who spoke concerning the item.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized the Chief Development Officer, who discussed potential financial assistance for residents in the Local Historic District for property maintenance.

Chairperson Councilor Rose moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be approved.

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

4.

Communications of the City Manager

4a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to an updated Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and Tax Increment Exemption (TIE) Policy. # 9.4A CM February 28, 2023

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Rose read the item and moved to take the item up collectively with items #4b and #4c.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized the Chief Development Officer, who provided an overview of various updates to the TIF and TIE policy.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor King, who discussed the Compliance Officer position for the TIF and TIE program, the new apprenticeships policy, legal vetting relative to the apprenticeship and claw-back policies, fines relative to failure to submit correct documentation and noncompliance within the program with the Chief Development Officer.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor Rivera, who discussed the requirement of having at least one registered apprenticeship program per project and the importance of increasing the minimum limit with the Chief Development Officer.

Chairperson Councilor Rose brought forth the following three (3) Chairmanís Orders: 1) Request City Manager request Chief Development Officer provide City Council with an updated TIF/TIE policy, including any recent amendments to same. Further, request City Manager request Chief Development Officer create a draft ordinance relative to registered apprenticeship requirements for future projects; 2) Request City Manager request Chief Development Officer work with the City Solicitor to provide City Council with a report reviewing potential legal concerns associated with a registered apprenticeship program draft ordinance, as well as a recommendation relative to increasing requirements associated with apprenticeship programs, in an effort to accommodate more trades and/or trade exceptions; and 3) Request City Manager provide City Council with a report highlighting the workflow of the added compliance officer, as well as how said position will be funded.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor King, who discussed the findings from the MWBE study with the Chief Development Officer.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor Rivera, who spoke concerning the item.

Chairperson Councilor Rose 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 Chief Development Officer provide City Council with an updated TIF/TIE policy, including any recent amendments to same. Further, request City Manager request Chief Development Officer create a draft ordinance relative to registered apprenticeship requirements for future projects.

Request City Manager request Chief Development Officer work with the City Solicitor to provide City Council with a report reviewing potential legal concerns associated with a registered apprenticeship program draft ordinance, as well as a recommendation relative to increasing requirements associated with apprenticeship programs, in an effort to accommodate more trades and/or trade exceptions.

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report highlighting the workflow of the added compliance officer, as well as how said position will be funded.

4b.

Transmitting informational communication relative to semi-annual TIF/TIE reporting. # 10.4C CM September 20, 2022

Attachments

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)

4c.

Transmitting informational communication relative to semi annual TIF/TIE reporting. # 9.4C CM March 1, 2022

In Committee June 8, 2022 - Held

Attachments

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays (See Item #4a)