CITY OF WORCESTER

Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment Committee Meeting

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 6:13 P.M.

Adjourned: 6:47 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Etel Haxhiaj
Vice Chairperson Kathleen M Toomey
Councilor George J Russell
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Etel Haxhiaj, who participated remotely Councilor George J. Russell, who participated remotely
 
Also:Chief Sustainability Officer John Odell Deputy City Clerk Clare Robbins, 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.

Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment Committee Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/94166600916
Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment Committee Zoom Phone Number: (929) 205 6099
Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment Committee Zoom Access Code: 941 6660 0916

Attachments
2.

Approval of the Minutes

2a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee of Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment hereby approves the minutes of the Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment Committee meeting of September 18, 2023.

View Agenda

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj 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 (Toomey absent)

3.

Miscellaneous Items

3a.

Order of Councilor Etel Haxhiaj - Request Standing Committee on Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment hold a public hearing relative to receiving feedback as to ways the cityís social media policy can be updated and/or more properly enforced. # 19m CC September 12, 2023

In Committee September 18, 2023 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Hahxhiaj read the item and moved to recommend the item be held.

Recommend Hold

3b.

Petition of Maureen Schwab request the creation of "Hot Spot Priority Mapping" designated for Heat Islands. Further, request Zoning Ordinance include a requirement for newly constructed buildings within established Heat Island Zip Codes to comply with Heat Island Cooling Strategies as recommended on https://www.epa.gov/heatislands and as outlined in the Green Worcester Sustainability and Resilience Strategic Plan for net zero and climate resilient buildings. # 9r CC August 22, 2023

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj read the item and recognized the following speaker:
1. Maureen Schwab, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the item
2. No name given, No residence given, spoke in favor of the item

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj then discussed recent actions by municipal and state governments relative to climate action.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed the type of construction that the proposed requirement would apply to and the course of action to realize the requirement relative to Heat Island Cooling Strategies.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized the Chief Sustainability Officer, who discussed the zoning recommendations from the Worcester Now | Next plan and on-going efforts relative to addressing issues concerning heat islands.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager include a provision in the Worcester Now | Next zoning recommendations that requires newly constructed buildings within established Heat Island Zip Codes to comply with Heat Island Cooling Strategies.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized the Chief Sustainability Officer, who discussed whether Environmental Justice (EJ) communities have been identified as priorities for tree-planting project and the potential funding sources for the tree-planting project.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with report concerning the funding sources for tree-planting projects in the city.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized Speaker #1, who discussed funding for tree-planting projects.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning a list of each tree-planting funding program for property developers and builders. Further, request City Manager provide said list to property developers and builders for projects within Heat Island Zip Codes and Environmental Justice communities.

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

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 2 Yeas and 0 Nays (Toomey absent)

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager include a provision in the Worcester Now | Next zoning recommendations that requires newly constructed buildings within established Heat Island Zip Codes to comply with Heat Island Cooling Strategies.

Request City Manager provide City Council with report concerning the funding sources for tree-planting projects in the city.

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning a list of each tree-planting funding program for property developers and builders. Further, request City Manager provide said list to property developers and builders for projects within Heat Island Zip Codes and Environmental Justice communities.

4.

Communications of the City Manager

4a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to an update on the Electricity Municipal Electricity Aggregation Program. # 10.33A CM August 22, 2023

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj read the item and moved to take the item up collectively with Item #4b.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized the Chief Sustainability Officer, who provided an overview of the item and discussed the end date for the electricity contract through the Municipal Electricity Aggregation Program, ratepayer savings and carbon-reduction through the program and satisfaction rate from community members relative to opt-out process for the program.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj recognized Councilor Russell, who spoke concerning the item.

Chairperson Councilor Haxhiaj brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Chief Sustainability Officer provide City Council with a report concerning the savings that the ratepayers have accumulated through the Municipal Electricity Aggregation Program, including information concerning savings by the average household.

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

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 2 Yeas and 0 Nays (Toomey absent)

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Chief Sustainability Officer provide City Council with a report concerning the savings that the ratepayers have accumulated through the Municipal Electricity Aggregation Program, including information concerning savings by the average household.

4b.

Transmitting informational communication relative to updated pricing of the Green Worcester Electricity's Municipal Aggregation Program. # 9.35A CM October 25, 2022

Attachments

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 2 Yeas and 0 Nays (Toomey absent) (See Item #4a)