CITY OF WORCESTER

Public Works Committee Meeting

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 5:02 P.M.

Adjourned: 6:15 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson George J Russell
Vice Chairperson Candy Mero-Carlson
Councilor Jenny Pacillo
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor George J. Russell Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson Councilor Jenny Pacillo, who participated in the meeting remotely
 
Also:Commissioner of Public Works and Parks Jay Fink Director of Emergency Communications and Management Charles Goodwin Deputy City Clerk I 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.

Public Works Committee Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/98928800472
Public Works Committee Zoom Phone Number: (929) 205 6099
Public Works Committee Zoom Access Code: 989 2880 0472

Attachments
2.

Approval of the Minutes

2a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee on Public Works hereby approves the minutes of the Public Works Committee meeting on December 6, 2023.

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

3.

Miscellaneous Item

3a.

Order of Councilor George J. Russell Ė Request Standing Committee on Public Works host a discussion with the Commissioner of Public Works and Parks, as well as other appropriate department heads associated with Worcester 311 to review the cityís current snow operations. Said discussion should include what, if anything, needs to be done to improve said operations. # 28f CC January 9, 2024

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Russell read the item and discussed his concerns relative to snow operations and public safety.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognize the Commissioner of Public Works and Parks, who discussed the amount of available city-owned and contracted equipment for snow operations, reasons for the decrease in number of available equipment, plans concerning increasing number of equipment and streamlining the hiring process, as well as the feasibility of creating a reimbursement program for CDL training.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized the Director of Emergency Communications and Management, who discussed the number of calls and requests received through the 311 program during the cityís most recent snowstorm, the number of staff in the department, and statistics concerning wait and response times.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized the Commissioner of Public Works and Parks, who discussed challenges concerning work done on gravel private streets.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who discussed plans concerning addition of new functions to the 311 programs for more detailed reports, how the calls are marked as closed and concerns relative to duplicated requests, the numbers of contracted equipment and city-owned equipment, the requirements concerning creation of in-house CDL program with the Director of Emergency Communications and Management and the Commissioner of Public Works and Parks.

Chairperson Councilor Russell brought forth the following two (2) Chairmanís Orders: 1) Request City Manager request Director of Emergency Communications and Management provide City Council with a report concerning the number of calls received by the 311 program during the snowstorm on January 6th and January 7th, 2024. Further, request said report categorize said calls into snow-related requests and non-snow-related requests; and 2) Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks work with MassHire to determine a way to provide Commercial Driverís Licenses (CDL) courses for city employees.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized the Commissioner of Public Works and Parks, who discussed the challenges concerning increasing capacity for the snow operations program with Councilor Mero-Carlson.

Chairperson Councilor Russell brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks provide City Council with a report concerning any additional hardware required by the Department of Public Works and Parks to aid in its snow operations.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized the Director of Emergency Communications and Management, who discussed process concerning duplicate calls received through the 311 program.

Chairperson Councilor Russell brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks consider reviewing the feasibility of pushing back snow banks following snow events in the city. Further, request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks consider providing some snow inspectors with plowing equipment to address issues as they review work done during snow events.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who discussed whether the snow inspectors perform plowing services and expectations concerning inspector role during snowstorms 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

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Director of Emergency Communications and Management provide City Council with a report concerning the number of calls received by the 311 program during the snowstorm on January 6th and January 7th, 2024. Further, request said report categorize said calls into snow-related requests and non-snow-related requests.

Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks work with MassHire to determine a way to provide Commercial Driverís Licenses (CDL) courses for city employees.

Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks provide City Council with a report concerning any additional hardware required by the Department of Public Works and Parks to aid in its snow operations.

Request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks consider reviewing the feasibility of pushing back snow banks following snow events in the city. Further, request City Manager request Commissioner of Public Works and Parks consider providing some snow inspectors with plowing equipment to address issues as they review work done during snow events.