Holyoke City Council Meeting Text Size
Event takes place on November 21, 2017 at 7:00 PM
Holyoke City hall: Council Chambers
AGENDA FOR THE CITY COUNCIL
LAID ON THE TABLE
1. From Mayor Alex B. Morse letter re: Veto of Recreational Marijuana Moratorium
2. From Mayor Alex B. Morse letter re-appointing Ms. Kelly Curran, 230 South St. to serve as a member on the Library Board of Directors for the City of Holyoke: Ms. Curran will serve a two-year erm said term will expire in February 2019.
3. From Mayor Alex B. Morse letter reappointing Ms. Wendy Weiss, 3 Fairfield Ave. to serve as a member of the Fairfield Avenue Historic District Commission effective July 1, 2017: Ms. Weiss will serve a three-year term; said term will expire July 1, 2020.
4. From Mayor Alex B. Morse, letter re-appointing Margaret Sikop of 328 West Franklin St. to serve as a Commissioner of the Council on Aging: and appointing Barbara Grady of 44 Edward Dr. to serve as a Commissioner of the Council on Aging.
5. From City Clerk Brenna Murphy McGee, minutes of the October 17, 2017 City Council Meeting
6. From City Solicitor Paul RE: Possible Executive Session for purpose of discussing pending litigation, negotiations and settlements
7. From City Solicitor Paul Payer RE: Legal form of recreational marijuana ordinances
8. From Community Preservation Committee, Holyoke CPA Annual Budget Article
9. Letter from Eric Haskins from Northampton, requesting a proposal for a Community Garden on the corner of Cabot and High Sts.
10. From Sara Kron, 41 Pearl St. letter of resignation from the Holyoke Local Cultural Council.
11. From Board of Registrar of Voters minutes of October 5, 2017.
12. From Board of Health, minutes of July 6 and September 6, 2017.
13. From Board of Fire Commissioners minutes of September 27, October 23, October 25, & November 8, 2017.
14. From Robert L. Quinn, letter re: Petition Opposing placing the Former Mater Dolorosa Church in a single building Local Historic District.
15. Petition of Manuel Contin for a street vendor license at Dwight and Chestnut Sts.
16. Petition of Edward Glica for a renewal of a home occupation at 19 Concord Ave. for a remodeling business.
17. Petition of Lasca Hoey for a renewal of a home occupation at 7 Line Rd. for a massage therapy business.
18. Petition of Daniel LiBoissonnault for a renewal of a home occupation at 267 Southampton Rd. for a Wholesale food production.
19. Petition of Carmen Rivera for a new special permit for a home occupation at 170 Oak St. for a towing business.
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES
20. Ordinance Committee Reports (if any)
20A. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred a City Council street vendor license applicatoin of Nuestras Raices to sell agricultural products at 329 Main St. Recommend that the application be given leave to withdraw per request of the applicant
20B. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred a street vendor license application for Jannette Vega to operate a food truck and have her license extended until 6/30/2018 Recommend that the application be approved
20C. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order that the City Council Ordinance Committee hold a joint public hearing with the Planning Board on the creation of zoning ordinances related to recreational marijuana retail locations Recommend that the order be adopted as amended
20D. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order that the City Council Ordinance Committee hold a joint public hearing with the Planning Board on the creation of zoning ordinances related to recreational marijuana cultivation and production Recommend that the order be adopted as amended
20E. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order Whereas new businesses that have developed around the mall area are looking for better directional signage for their business and such signage could be placed on private property owners property, it is therefore requested that the ordinance committee considered the following as a possible new ordinance
NON-ACCESSORY SIGN ORDINANCE
Billboard-a freestanding sign larger than 40 square feet in gross area or a wall sign covering more than 10% of the area to which it is affixed;
Non-Accessory Sign- A sign which advertises a business, service, product, commodity, entertainment or similar object or activity which is conducted sold or offered on a Lot other than the Lot where the sign is erected. They are also known as off-site signs or off-premises signs. No property shall have more than one (1) non-accessory signs including on its property.
Sign A Sign includes any letter, word, symbol, drawing picture design device flag pennant article light or object that is designed to advertise, inform, direct or attract attention to or indicate any business, person or activity
1. Non-accessory signs shall be allowed as matter of right in the BH zone
2. No property shall have more than one (1) non-accessory signs including on its property.
3. All signs must conform to the Sign Ordinances of the City of Holyoke.
4. The owners of all Non-accessory signs shall have a written lease or rental agreement with the owners of the property on which the sign will be erected. In that agreement, there shall be clauses stating who is responsible for both maintenance and insurance for the sign and the leases or rented area where the sign is standing.
5. All non-accessory signs will have a minimum height of five feet to the bottom of the sign above the mean finished grade where the sign is located.
6. All non-accessory signs will have a maximum height not to exceed thirty feet to the top of the sign above the nearest pavement grade.
7. The maximum message area of the non-accessory sign shall not exceed eight feet in the BH district.
8. Where such sign consists of two parallel flat signs, the maximum thickness between the two signs faces is two feet.
9. Every sign shall be maintained in good condition. If a sign shows corrosion or deteriorated paint over 25% of the area of side of the area of one side; or if damage causes a loss of 10% of its substance, or if the sign suffers damage or deterioration which creates a risk of harm to the person or properly of another; or if the establishment is no longer in business, such sign shall be removed by the property owner.
10. The area around each sign shall be erected without a Building permit from the Building Commissioner for the City of Holyoke. Recommend that the order be adopted as amended
20F. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order Ordered that the Ordinances Section 86-106 “Permit Parking “ be amended to reflect the following changes:
1. That not more than two parking stickers be allowed per household
2. That the ordinances reflect that Center St. is only addresses 1-20 Center St. from North Canal to Lyman St. Recommend that the order be adopted
20G. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order that the City consider adopting the MA state statutes necessary to reduce the speed limit to 25 mph on residential roads Recommend that the order be adopted on a street by street basis
20H. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order that the Holyoke notification system shall only be used for emergency notifications and be announced by a non-elected public safety official Recommend that the order be adopted
20I. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order that Whoever, for the purpose of soliciting any alms, contribution or subscription or of selling any merchandise, except newspapers, or ticket of admission to any game, show, exhibition, fair, ball, entertainment or public gathering, signals a moving vehicle on any public way or causes the stopping of a vehicle thereon, or accosts any occupant of a vehicle stopped thereon at the direction of a police officer or signal man, or of a signal or device for regulating traffic, shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars. Whoever sells or offers for sale any item except newspapers within the limits of a state highway boundary without a permit issued by the department shall for the first offense be punished by a fine of fifty dollars and for each subsequent offense shall be punished by a fine of one hundred dollars. Notwithstanding the provisions of the first sentence of this section, on any city or town way which is not under jurisdiction of the department, the chief of police of a city or town may issue a permit to nonprofit organizations to solicit on said ways in conformity with the rules and regulations established by the police department of said city or town. Recommend that the order be adopted
20J. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order that the City of Holyoke creates an ordinance that requires a group or business that hands out or exchanges needles be required to have the needles marked with a specific color. This will help our board of health and police department identify where the needle originated from. Recommend that the order has been complied with
20K. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order that The City of Holyoke opt-in to MGL c. 90 § 17C which will “Establishment of 25-miles-per-hour speed limit in thickly settled or business district in city or town.” What this will do is setting the reasonable and proper speed on all city- and town-owned streets within thickly settled or business districts at 25 mph (that do not have existing special speed regulations). If the City adopts this language, Holyoke can also adopt a 25 MPH thickly settled speed zone on a street-by-street basis. Recommend that the order has been complied with
21. Finance Committee Reports (if any)
22. Public Safety Committee Reports (if any)
22A. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that the Mayor appoint a resident of Ward 1 or Ward 2 to the Fire Commission as soon as possible. Besides the fire truck for downtown being browned out, it appears the Commission seats have been browned out too for the residents of the lower wards. The Mayor recently appointed a resident of Ward 7 to the vacant seat formerly held by Ms. Devine. The Mayor should reconsider that appointment and appoint a resident who can be a voice for the residents in Ward 1 and 2. Right now only Wards 5, 6 and 7 have residents represented on the Commission. Recommend that the order has been complied with
22B. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that the Law Dept. review who has the authority to take a fire apparatus off line. This order is due to the Fire Commissioners intentions to take an Engine off line permanently under the reorganization plan the Fire Commissioners are attempting to implement have That last black out in the City required City Council Approval approximately 1976. Recommend that the order has been complied with
22C. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that Fire Chief pond request the ISO to provide in writing whether or not the closing of an Engine 2 will impact our ISO rating Recommend that the order has been complied with
22D. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that the Chief of Police / Holyoke Police Department provide a detailed breakdown of “Operation Full Throttle,” and what streets/neighborhoods did these 400 arrests occur. If information could be provided back to the City Council within 30 days. Recommend that the the order has been complied with
22E. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that full page ads be placed in the Springfield Republican and Holyoke Sun informing the public of social services which deal with addiction and homelessness. The ad will also address the consequences involved in contributing directly to a panhandler as well as educate the public as to the safety and health issues involved.
Recommend that the order has been complied with
22F. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that signs be placed at key gateways and traffic islands. Sign will read PLEASE HELP OUR COMMUNITY, DO NOT GIVE MONEY TO PANHANDLERS.
Recommend that the order has been complied with
23. Public Service Committee Reports (if any)
23A. The Committee on Public Service to whom was referred City Council review of Mayoral appointee Tessa Murphy-Rombletti to the Holyoke Economic Development and Industrial Corporation Recommend that the the appointee be confimred
23B. The Committee on Public Service to whom was referred City Council review of Mayoral appointee Priscilla Garcia to serve as a commissioner on the Council on Aging Recommend that the appointee be confirmed
23C. The Committee on Public Service to whom was referred an order that the City Council invite MIFA to give an update on their current projects including the update with the Victor Theater Development Recommend that the order has been complied with
24. Development and Governmental Relations Committee Reports (if any)
24A. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred an order that the CC invite the new PVTA Administrator, Sandra E. Sheehan, to a future DGR meeting to discuss bus and transit service in and around Holyoke. Ms. Sheehan previously worked for the Greater Hartford Transit District as Director of Grants and Contract Administration Recommend that the order has been complied with
25. Charter and Rules Committee Reports (if any)
26. Joint City Council and School Committee Reports (if any)
MOTIONS, ORDERS AND RESOLUTIONS
27. JOURDAIN — “Due to safety concerns, the transfer of money or goods between a motorist or its occupants and a pedestrian on any traveled portion of a road shall be prohibited. If a vehicle is legally parked and/or on private property, then this shall not apply.”
28. LEAHY — That the City Council request the Mayor to fund the account that funds the heat for the John J Lynch Gymnasium. This gym is used seven (7) nights a week during November, December and January for suburban girls and boys basketball.
29. LEBRON-MARTINEZ — That the forestry or DPW trim the branches of a tree in front of 216 Essex Street before it starts to snow.
30. LEBRON-MARTINEZ — That Holyoke Gas & Electric turn lights behind 21 Bower Street for safety reason.
31. LEBRON-MARTINEZ — that a handicap sign be placed in front of 11 No. East St. for Gadiel Ortiz.
32. LISI — that in an effort to reduce the number of dirty needles plaguing our streets in Holyoke and across the Commonwealth, the City Council make a formal request of our State Legislators, Rep. Aaron Vega and Sen. Don Humason, to file legislation that requires any facility that is selling or dispensing syringe needles to also accept used syringes free of charge
33. LISI — that the City Council adopt the following proclamation to recognize the Holyoke Youth Football League’s Pee Wee team:
Whereas, the Holyoke Youth Football Pee Wee team has won 21 consecutive games this season; and
Whereas the Holyoke Youth Football Pee Wee team are the Superbowl champions for the region; and
Whereas the Holyoke Youth Football Pee Wee team is a co-ed team that has successfully adopted the Heads Up Tackling program and gained recognition of NFL recruiters;
34. LISI — that the City Council adopt the following proclamation to recognize the positive impact that Thomas Wyse had on his students at Donahue School and the broader learning community in Holyoke:
Whereas, Mr. Thomas Wyse spent 12 years nurturing the minds and spirits of the children of Donahue School in Holyoke, regardless of whether they attended class with him or not.
Whereas, The children of Holyoke are our most important asset and our most cherished gift.
Whereas, School teachers nourish our childrens minds and prepare them academically, as well as socially and civically, to engage in our society and contribute to the American experience.
Whereas, teachers should be accorded high public esteem, reflecting the value the community places on public education; and
Whereas, Thomas Wyse had an inherent belief in the ability and capabilities of every student; and
Whereas, Thomas Wyse will continue to influence his students long after their school days are only memories;
35. MCGEE — that in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 44 Sec. 53A, the City Council hereby accepts the provisions of the “2017 EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS GRANT” grant and authorizes the establishment of a Fund or other method appropriate for the accounting of the receipts and expenditures of all resources associated with the administration of said grant.
36. MCGEE — that in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 44 Sec. 53A, the City Council hereby accepts the provisions of the “MUNICIPAL ENERGY TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE GRANT” grant and authorizes the establishment of a Fund or other method appropriate for the accounting of the receipts and expenditures of all resources associated with the administration of said grant.
37. MCGEE — that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2018, Four thousand fifty-three and 70/100/100 Dollars ($4,053.70) as follows:
12201-51105 Firefighters $4,053.70
12201-51180 Inj On Duty $4,053.70
38. MCGEE — that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2018, Twenty-four thousand nine hundred sixty-six and 37/100/100 Dollars ($24,966.37) as follows:
12101-51107 Patrolmen $24,966.37
12101-51180 Inj On Duty $24,966.37
39. MCGEE — that in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 44 Sec. 53A, the City Council hereby accepts the provisions of the “PARC Grant for Valley Arena Park” grant and authorizes the establishment of a Fund or other method appropriate for the accounting of the receipts and expenditures of all resources associated with the administration of said grant.
40. MCGEE — Financial Order: Ordered that the sum of $100,000 is appropriated to pay the costs of the rehabilitation and construction of Valley Arena Park in South Holyoke including, lighting, planting, landscaping, stormwater management, and the payment of all costs incidental and related hereto, and that to meet this appropriation, the Treasurer, with the approval of the Mayor, is authorized to borrow said amount under and pursuant to Chapter 44, Section 7(1) of the General Laws, or pursuant to any other enabling authority, and to issue bonds or notes of the City therefore; that the Mayor is authorized to contract for and expend any state aid available for the project; and that the Mayor is authorized to take any other action necessary to carry out this project.
Further Ordered: That any premium received by the City upon the sale of any bonds or notes approved by this vote, less any such premium applied to the payment of the costs of issuance of such bonds or notes, may be applied to the payment of costs approved by this vote in accordance with Chapter 44,. Section 20 of the General Laws, thereby reducing the amount authorized to be borrowed to pay such costs by a like amount.
Further Ordered: That the Treasurer is authorized to file an application to qualify under Chapter 44A of the General Laws any and all of the bonds or notes authorized to be issued pursuant to this Order, and to provide such information and execute such documents as may be required for such purposes.
Further Ordered: That in order to reduce interest costs, the City Treasurer, with the approval of the Mayor, is authorized to refinance any bonds issued pursuant to this Order and in connection therewith, to issue refunding bonds in accordance with Chapter 44, Section 21A of the General Laws.
Further Ordered: That there shall be no change in the purpose of this bond authorization without prior vote of approval by the Holyoke City Council.
41. MCGEE — Ordered that, in accordance with Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 59, sec. 38H, the City Council approve and ratify an agreement between the City of Holyoke and C2 MA Kelly Way Solar, LLC, for payment in lieu of taxes (“PILOT”) of certain personal property tax obligations for the property located at 505 Kelly Way.
42. MCGEE — Whereas there have been several suggestions/recommendations regarding charter and rules changes for the new city council year, therefore it is requested that the committee considered the following:
Order that certain committees be reduced to 3 members from 5 members but that committees like Ordinance, DG&R, and Finance remain with 5 members.
43. MCGEE — Order that an alternate member be appointed to a 3 member committee in order to fill in for an absent member on the day of a committee meeting. The alternate may only vote if a regular member is absent.
44. MCGEE — Order that the public comment list be increased to allow more to sign up and talk and adjust time allotment in accordance in increased size.
45. MCGEE — That the City Council consider a rule change for the start time of for the regular City Council meetings. That the regular scheduled meetings of the City Council start at 6:30pm and not 7:00pm.
46. MCGEE — Order that two new committee be established 1. Committee on Innovation & Economic Development, 2. Committee on Special permits and Zoning.
47. MCGEE — Order that the attorney assigned to the city council be moved into the City Council area to have a desk and microphone in order to better address and answer questions for the council.
48. MCGEE — Order that the City Council invite in school students to City Council meetings to do the Pledge of Allegiance and have those students and parents recognized on the agenda.
49. MCGEE — Order that the personnel department/ police department reissue city council badges.
50. MCGEE — Order that the Vendor license process be amended to come in as one bill/application and that the tax collector will collect the fee and then distribute out the appropriate amount to departments (I.e Board of Health fee, DPW fee, etc)
51. MCGEE — Order that department heads, when sending their budget information to the Mayor, provide a copy to the City Council Finance Committee.
52. MCGEE — that a “SLOW CHILDREN AT PLAY SIGN”, to be placed between Lexington and Madison and on Jefferson near liberty.
53. MCGEE — Order that the City Council Administrative Assistant be changed from a one year appointment to a two year term.
54. MCGEE — Order that Holyoke Media replace the outdated video and microphone system in the chambers ASAP.
55. MCGEE — Order that the Administrative Assistant work with the Purchasing Department to get the City Council voicemail set up and working ASAP.
56. MCGEE — Order that Administrative Assistant purchase a copy machine for the city council area.
57. MCGEE — Order that the Administrative Assistant establish a Facebook page for the City Council.
58. MCGEE — Order that the City Council picture frames be placed back in the hallways ASAP.
59. MCGEE — Order that Capt. Morarity provide an updated list of safety options or procedures put in place to deal with the security/safety at City Hall, sub committee meetings and full council meetings.
60. MCGEE — Order that the City Solicitor come before the council to give an update on open meeting law changes (I.e. Emails, reply all to emails, etc.)
61. ROMAN — Order that the city council invite in newly elected
MCGEE City Councilor Juan Anderson-Burgos into the chamber
for full city council meetings.
62. VACON — that a No Engine Brake sign be added to Southampton Road near the Rock Valley, Southampton Rd intersection, per constituent request.
63. VACON — that any restrictions on the deed/lot 181-00-137 on Sun Valley Rd., recently sold at auction, be reviewed and a determination made if they allow for a building on the lot.
64. VACON — that DPW meet with representatives from HCC and residents of the neighborhood re: mitigation of traffic issues in the Sunset, Ashley, Clayton road neighborhood. When the new light was added, HCC representatives addressed concerns of the residents know if negative consequences occurred they would work to reduce the negative effects caused by traffic.
65. VACON — that a 30 MPH speed limit sign be added at the top of Apremont near the top of the hill after the curve so that drivers know the entire road is 30mph.
66. VACON — that the Public Safety Committee invite representatives from HCC and DPW to address the increasing traffic concerns in the Sunset, Ashley and Clayton Rd neighborhoods. When the light was added at 202 and Sunset, neighbors were advised in a public meeting that HCC could assist with mitigation efforts if traffic problems developed with the new road and light at HCC.
67. VACON — that DPW repair the potholes at the bottom of Whitney Ave. They are a safety hazard. Please move this road up on the re-surfacing list.
68. VACON — Order that the Chief of Police send a car at midnight on Saturday nights when it’s good weather to park in the entranceway of Dowd Insurance facing outward toward Bobala Dr. to deter the racers entering from I-91 to use the road as a raceway until 2 AM Sunday morning. This is violating our ordinances and wreaking havoc in the residential neighborhood that is located next to Bobala Dr. Also, please notify the Chief of Police of W. Springfield of this racing so that they can address it from their end on Interstate Dr.
69. VACON — that DPW repair the potholes on Holy Family Road in front of Devonshire Place.
70. VACON — that the 202 / Homestead Ave intersection be evaluated for a blinking yellow left arrow on the northbound side of Homestead Ave. and implemented if warranted.
71. VACON — Order: That the City Solicitor issue an opinion as to what authority a department head has to authorize paid leave for a non work related injury or illness when contractual benefits have been exhausted. There are contracts that define benefits that have been approved by the City Council. These actions, if occurring, and not corrected appear to create a liability for the city.
72. VALENTIN — that a handicap sign be placed in front of 843 Dwight St. for Sara I. Rivera.
73. BARTLEY — Late files are legitimate but it’s unreasonable for councilors to keep track of them. Thus, Order that CC consider and adopt a rule change that states all Late Files shall be posted to the next meeting’s agenda in their own section.
74. BARTLEY — Establish one “15-minute parking only” parking space in front of Easy Pick Convenience located at 224 Lyman St.
75. BARTLEY — “In accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 40 Sec. 4A the City Council approve an inter municipal agreement between the Town of Amherst, City of Holyoke, City of Northampton, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, City of Springfield and University of Massachusetts, Amherst for a regional bike share program to replace the prior approved inter municipal agreement dated December of 2015.”
76. BARTLEY — City of Holyoke review opportunities, including CDBG funds, to find financing to do the following:
a. Light up the Dingle between Crosier and Beech St. A recent attack as well as some unsavory activity has been reported. HG & E advised that lighting up the dingle is estimated to cost $30,000.00. Hopefully CDBG funds could be allocated.
b. Repair the dilapidated sidewalk in front of 548 South St. It should either be repaired (and made a double-sidewalk) or replaced. Hopefully CDBG funds could be allocated.
c. Create a sidewalk through the Rt. 391 corridor connecting High St. (near Atty. Brady’s office) to the crosswalk at Maple St. near Fitzpatrick Rink. Hopefully CDBG funds could be allocated.
d. Create a sidewalk on Charles St. between Washington Ave. and Laurel St. Hopefully CDBG funds could be allocated.
77. BARTLEY — HPD increase traffic enforcement on Hillside Ave. Specifically, when resources allow please set up radar/lidar enforcement and report back to Public Safety Committee.
78. BARTLEY — HPD enforce the “do not block the box” at Gilman and Clark Sts. When resources allow please have an officer enforce this ordinance (preferably on a monthly basis) and then report back to the Public Safety Committee with any findings.
80. BARTLEY — the DPW consider a 4-way stop sign at Washington Ave. / Charles St. intersection.
81. BARTLEY — : the DPW/Park & Rec. Dept. consider a curb cut on the west side of Veterans Park (across Chestnut St. from Holyoke Catholic Apts.) and install a ramp so that disabled residents can easily access the park. Also, please consider adding a trash receptacle & recycling bin at the west end of the park.
82. BRESNAHAN — that a representative of the building department come before the city Council to discuss any change in the permit fees for residential and commercial property owners within the city of Holyoke.
83. BRESNAHAN — That the City Council review the street vendor application and permitting process.
84. BRESNAHAN — that the property behind Hunter Tree on Berkshire
ROMAN Street be cleaned and secured as this area has become
a highly trafficked drug using area the property is
owned by the railroad, “also requested that the Pioneer
Valley Railroad Company be given notice as well for
any property it may own in this area.”
85. GREANEY JR. — that the DPW places a stop sign at the intersection of Judith St. and Sheehan Dr. There have been multiple instances of near collisions with cars turning from Judas St. onto Sheehan Dr. without stopping. This is a constituent request.
The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the chair which may be discussed at the meeting.
Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law
Posted on November 17, 2017 by allenr