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Development & Governmental Relations Committee Meeting August 23, 2021

Aug 23 2021

6:00 pm City Hall Holyoke

536 Dwight St, Holyoke 01040

City Council

Holyoke Massachusetts

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A, §§ 18-25,

and Section 20 of Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021,

notice is hereby given of a meeting of of the committee on

Development and Governmental Relations Committee (DGR)

Monday, August 23rd, 2021

6:00 PM

Meeting to take place at

Holyoke City Hall, 536 Dwight St

and can be accessed remotely on Zoom Meetings

Per order of the Chair: David Bartley

Remote access via www.zoom.us

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85186049689?pwd=bmo4U3pLYUh0UVFzaGJacE95V0JSUT09

Meeting ID: 851 8604 9689 Meeting Passcode: 306935 or by call in at 1 (646) 558-8656 with same Meeting ID and Passcode.

 

Agenda:

Item 1: Previous meeting minutes

Item 2: 7-20-21 Proposals and recommendations for the American Rescue Plan Act

Item 3: Schedule September meeting

 

 

Administrative Assistant: Jeffery Anderson-Burgos

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 may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law. Also one or two items may require the committee to enter into executive session at this meeting. Agenda subject to change up to two business days (48 hours) prior to posted meeting time.

Development and Governmental Relations Committee

August 23, 2021

 

Members present: Chairman David Bartley, Vice Chairman Michael Sullivan, Howard Greaney, Jr, Peter Tallman, Gladys Lebron-Martinez

Other councilors present: Terence Murphy, Joseph McGiverin, Linda Vacon

 

Chairman Bartley called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM

 

 

Councilor Tallman made a motion to remove item 1 from the table. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 1: Minutes from the last meeting

--->      Received 5-0.

DISCUSSION:

Councilor Greaney stated they had been copious notes.

Councilor Tallman noted that they explained the dialogue well.

Chairman Bartley stated that the notes had followed the meeting well. He then noted that the requested MIT study had been a brutal read. He also asked to confirm that the map of the Dean School lots had been sent.

Admin Asst Anderson-Burgos confirmed that he emailed them to all councilors.

Chairman Bartley thanked  Councilor Murphy for taking up the issue. He then noted that the School Board discussed and tabled it in order to receive additional information.

Councilor Murphy stated that City Engineer, Bob Peirent, would be attending subcommittee meetings to answer any engineering questions on the matter. He noted there had been several questions but that he expected the School Board would support sale of the property as long as the school no longer needed it.

Councilor Tallman made a motion to receive the minutes. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

 

Councilor Tallman made a motion to remove item 2 from the table. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 2: 7-20-21 Proposals and recommendations for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Chairman Bartley recognized Kate Preissler and Alicia Zoeller from the Community Development office. He then asked Councilor Murphy to offer his perspective on the proposals as the committee discusses each one.

Councilor Murphy confirmed he could do that. He then noted that 27 applicants had discussed on channel 15, adding that videos were continuing to play on the channel’s circulation. He then noted that his goal was to achieve the maximum benefit from the funds.

Chairman Bartley observed that recommendations had come from the Office of Community Development (OCD), in addition to revisions, as well as from the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). He then clarified that the committee would make recommendations to be considered by the full City Council.

A. Zoeller stated that the CAC recommendations had been communicated on August 6th. She noted that five key points had been focused on: the importance of holding back funds to respond to emerging COVID needs; the importance of protecting federal funds when investments are made in non-municipal buildings and properties; concerns about existing program infrastructure balanced against providing opportunities for a variety of non-profits; encouraging the city to find other funding sources for larger scale activities such as broadband or infrastructure; and providing sufficient funding for projects that may require multi-year commitments. She then noted the CAC process had been a thoughtful and organized effort.

Chairman Bartley asked who the members of the CAC were.

Zoeller stated the members were Kate Kruckemeyer, Nelson Lopez, Elbert Bowler, Nancy Gentile, Patrick Beaudry, and Michael Falcetti.

Chairman Bartley commended the members of the CAC for their valuable input.

Councilor Tallman asked if the city would receive the same ARPA fund amount of $14.9 million as it had received this year.

A. Zoeller confirmed that was correct. She added that the city had access to half of the total funding in the first year, with the remaining becoming available on July 1st of the following year.

Councilor Tallman asked if the remaining half was in a bank collecting interest.

A. Zoeller stated that only the first half had been provided to the city. She then noted that some proposals had been recommended to receive multiple years of funding in the first year. She then noted that one concern for the first year was to fund the maximum number of projects and activities. She also noted that the city had been notified that it would be receiving additional ARPA funds from the state to the county government level.

Chairman Bartley asked for Councilor Murphy’s recommendation on holding back $506,000.

Councilor Murphy expressed his expectation that the federal government would provide additional funds if another significant COVID crisis were to take place. He stated his goal was to get as much done as possible, with both immediate and long term impacts. He then stated he was not ready to make a commitment on holding back funds.

Chairman Bartley noted that $1.7 million had already been allocated for lost revenue replacement to the city.

Councilor McGiverin asked for strong consideration of holding back $500,000, noting that the federal government’s formulas and deadlines had changed multiple times. He added that they may allow more funds to be used for city services.

Councilor Vacon expressed her belief that the biggest impact would be to allocate funds toward capital expenses and long term improvements to infrastructure.

Chairman Bartley stated that the first category would be Housing.

Funding recommendations for two requests from Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity
Home Preservation - rehab (30): FY21 Request: $80,000, Total ARPA request: $400,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0
New owner occupied housing (11): FY21 Request: $430,000, Total ARPA request: $2,150,000, OCD recommendation: $430,000, CAC recommendation: $430,000

Funding recommendations for two requests from OneHolyoke CDC
New owner occupied housing (20 duplex): FY21 Request: $3,500,000, Total ARPA request: $3,500,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0
Rental neighborhood improvement program - rehab (60): FY21 Request: $425,500, Total ARPA request: $1,500,000, OCD recommendation: $200,000, CAC recommendation: $200,000
Neighborhood improvement program - rehab (60): FY21 Request: $500,000, Total ARPA request: $500,000, OCD recommendation: $300,000, CAC recommendation: $300,000

A. Zoeller stated they recommended against funding home preservation with Habitat in lieu of existing funding through OneHolyoke. She then noted that there was desperate need for owner occupied housing, adding that Habitat had a great track record with this.

Chairman Bartley asked if locations had been identified for the homes.

A. Zoeller stated that a couple locations had been identified because they were working with the Housing Authority, adding that a couple locations were in the Jackson and Chestnut Street area. She then stated they would continue to work with the city to develop city owned vacant lots.

Chairman Bartley noted there was a desperate need for housing and encouraged his colleagues to advocate to address this need.

Councilor Tallman noted that the next recommendation had a new owner occupied request. He then asked if there had been consideration to split funding for this need between Habitat and One Holyoke.

A. Zoeller stated that they wanted to assure that agencies had the capacity to operate the programs. She then noted that OneHolyoke had a track record of doing owner occupied housing in the city. She stated that the main focus was having each agency do one type of project. She added that if the committee chose to split the funding for owner occupied housing, OneHolyoke would be ready to go.

Councilor Murphy noted that part of the funding for Habitat was to finish one of the homes they had already been working on. He then expressed one of his goals was to create the maximum number of units and to have the most impact in neighborhoods rather than single houses in different areas.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez asked to clarify what 30 and 11 meant.

A. Zoeller stated that represented the number of units proposed.

McGivern noted that OneHolyoke CDC had a record spanning multiple decades of handling these types of projects. He then suggested that Habitat may not be as equipped to produce as much as OneHolyoke if they were to receive the funding. He asked for that consideration when the Acting Mayor makes his allocations.

Councilor Tallman asked to begin making a motion to recommend.

Chairman Bartley suggested handling each full section before making recommendations.

Funding recommendations for a request from Revitalize CDC
modifications for COVID-19 impacted residents (asthma and aging in place) (100): FY21 Request: $100,000, Total ARPA request: $100,000, OCD recommendation: $100,000, CAC recommendation: $100,000

A. Zoeller stated that Revitalize CDC was working with several local medical centers to address asthma and other respiratory illness triggers in homes of COVID-19 impacted residents. She stated that this request was unique in that there was a medical component to it. She added that they would be assisting residents that have medical referral for needs. She then stated that they would be able to help owner occupied and rental unit tenants. She also noted that Revitalize CDC was already doing work around addressing asthma.

Funding recommendations for a request from Holyoke Housing Authority
South Holyoke Homes Phase 2 new owner occupied housing (19): FY21 Request: $1,340,000, Total ARPA request: $6,365,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0

A. Zoeller stated that HHA was proposing additional units of owner occupied housing in South Holyoke.

Funding recommendations for a request from Appleton Mill Apartments
New apartments at 216 Appleton Street (88): FY21 Request: $500,000, Total ARPA request: $500,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0

A. Zoeller stated that Appleton Mill was requesting $500,00 as the city’s commitment to their other public funders for new apartments.

Funding recommendations for a request from Wayfinders
Newton & Cabot Area Housing - rental and owner occupied housing (15 OO, 35 rental): FY21 Request: $6,159,500, Total ARPA request: $6,159,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0

A. Zoeller stated Wayfinders was proposing a large scale project at Newton and Cabot. She noted that Ms. Preissler had been in contact with the applicants. She added that HHA has submitted a new budget and that there were new updates from Wayfinders.

K. Preissler stated that Wayfinders still needed to provide clarification on targeted lots that they were planning to build on. She then stated that the HHA, Appleton Mill, and Wayfinders projects were worthy but needed more work and didn’t need to be rushed through.

Councilor Murphy expressed his understanding that with approval of HHA funding, there would be 8 houses under construction by the spring or summer of 2022. He also noted that HHA had put up more of their own funding to reduce cost of ARPA funds. He noted that Appleton Mill was attempting to receive tax credits. He also stated he was not in favor of $500,000 for a city commitment. He then stated that in regards to Wayfinders, there were High Street properties they were build homes on that would include off street parking. He added that some of their original properties would not be a part of this process.

Chairman Bartley asked if funding in each category was set or if the total funding could be in any category.

A. Zoeller confirmed they could be used across all categories in contrast to CDBG funds that have caps for various categories.

Councilor Sullivan expressed that while he respected the need to address housing, he suggested waiting a year or two, noting that new housing at the time would likely be installed with propane tanks. He then emphasized the importance of having good water and sewer to hook up new homes to, noting that many obstacles and large projects needed to be addressed first. He stated that aging infrastructure in the city needed to be handled first, adding that addressing these needs would benefit the entire city.

Councilor McGiverin noted that there were limits to how many rental units could be built. He then emphasized the importance of new owner occupied housing. He then asked how HHA and Habitat handle committing new ownership to the housing they build before they can be sold.

A. Zoeller stated that the new buyesr are not typically locked to the houses, adding that the houses are restricted to income eligibility requirements for a period of time.

Councilor McGiverin asked what would prevent someone from buying the home and then selling it at a profit.

A. Zoeller stated that the properties would have affordability restrictions, adding that families buying the homes would be under 100% area median income (AMI). She then stated they can restrict the sale proceeds to prevent properties being flipped for a profit. She also noted that CDBG requirements typically include being documented first time home buyers and having to take first time home buyer classes. She noted that each of the applicants have their own screening methods.

Councilor McGiverin expressed concern that restrictions may not be enough.

--->      Councilor Tallman made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to allocate $215,000 to Habitat for Humanity: New owner occupied housing. Chairman Bartley seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Councilor Tallman made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $215,000 to One Holyoke CDC: New owner occupied housing. Chairman Bartley seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Chairman Bartley stated that he believed the other recommendations for the Housing section were reasonable.

Councilor Sullivan noted that the proposal for Revitalize CDC mentioned a $100,000 agency contribution. He then noted that all contributions appeared to come from other organizations.

A. Zoeller clarified that agency sources can come from other funders, noting that the distinction was to contrast funding that the agency brings in with that of ARPA funding.

Councilor Sullivan noted that they had receiving funding from four other agencies towards their project.

A. Zoeller stated that their budget had been presented. She noted that many agencies leverage sources of funding to provide their services.

Councilor Sullivan reiterated that the agency itself was not making a contribution to the project. He then questioned the use of funds for administrative and advertising costs, noting that these would not help anyone with asthma.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez asked where Wayfinders was planning to develop.

Chairman Bartley stated that it was at the corner of Newton and Cabot.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez asked if it was in reference to a building with an X on it.

A. Zoeller clarified that they were interested in making a significant neighborhood-level investment. She added that they were in conversations with property owners about what could be acquired and rehabbed.

Chairman Bartley stated that the next category would be Capital Investments.

Funding recommendations for three requests from Department of Public Works (DPW)
Municipal Building Improvements: FY21 Request: $4,000,000, Total ARPA request: $4,000,000, OCD recommendation: $4,000,000, CAC recommendation: $4,000,000
Library HVAC: FY21 Request: $0, Total ARPA request: $0, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0
Fire Stations 3 & 6: FY21 Request: $0, Total ARPA request: $0, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0

K. Preissler clarified they were recommending municipal building projects be funded as a broader category rather than allocating to individual projects such as the Library HVAC and Fire Stations 3 & 6. She noted it would include City Hall Annex, the Volleyball Hall of Fame, and other city facilities.

A. Zoeller noted that there were few funding opportunities for municipal buildings, specifically to do them all at once with one funding package. She emphasized the importance of having safe and healthy buildings to work in. She also noted that city buildings are not eligible for CDBG and other grants and funding sources their department typically works with.

Funding recommendations for two requests from Holyoke Health Center (HHC)
Steiger Parking Lot and Drainage: FY21 Request: $50,000, Total ARPA request: $100,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $50,000
Solutions Building and Training Center: FY21 Request: $100,000, Total ARPA request: $750,00, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0

A. Zoeller stated that OCD had not recommended funding for HHC, noting that they would have access to other funding.

Funding recommendations for a request from City of Holyoke
War Memorial Improvements for Shelter: FY21 Request: $3,150,000, Total ARPA request: $3,150,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0

Funding recommendations for two requests from Holyoke Fire Department
Station 3 & Station 6: FY21 Request: $307,987, Total ARPA request: $307,987, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0
Station 6 generator: FY21 Request: $60,243, Total ARPA request: $60,243, OCD recommendation: $60,243, CAC recommendation: $60,243

A. Zoeller stated that the fire stations had been included in the municipal building proposals, adding that the generator had not been included in that broader group of proposals.

Funding recommendations for a request from Boys and Girls Club
Childcare Center Renovations: FY21 Request: $948,690, Total ARPA request: $948,690, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0

Funding recommendations for a request from Providence Ministries
new construction of community annex: FY21 Request: $9,307,327 Total ARPA request: $3,307327, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0

A. Zoeller stated that Providence initially asked that their project be withdrawn and then asked that it not be withdrawn in order to keep the conversation going around the need for a homeless shelter. She then noted the proposal needed more details. She stated they may look at some vacant buildings on Main St instead of new construction.

Funding recommendations for a request from Enlace de Familias
Roof Replacement at 297 Main St: FY21 Request: $100,000, Total ARPA request: $100,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $100,000

A. Zoeller stated that CAC recommended funding after hearing from the director of Enlace.

Funding recommendations for a request from Holyoke Public Library
HVAC and Air Quality Improvements: FY21 Request: $104,925, Total ARPA request: $104,925, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0

A. Zoeller stared the project would be included in the municipal buildings funding.

Funding recommendations for a request from Homework House
211 Bowers Street Build out for program expansion: FY21 Request: $800,000, Total ARPA request: $800,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0

Funding recommendations for a request from CT Rover Conservancy & Holyoke Rows
SEP River Access Center Boat Ramp Improvements: FY21 Request: $128,055, Total ARPA request: $128,055, OCD recommendation: $128,055, CAC recommendation: $128,055

K. Preissler stated that more details had been provided on this project, clarifying that there were two applications with one designated as programs and the other designated as boat ramp improvements. She then clarified that discussions with the applicant showed that the two projects were closed integrated. She noted that the budgets for both projects had been put together.

Councilor Greaney stated that the Boys and Girls Club was a worthy project. He then asked for details on the discussions with them.

A. Zoeller stated that the Club was working on several Covid-funded projects. She suggested that the proposal could be put off or a year while they work on their other activities. She added that the thinking was that municipal needs could be funded first. She then noted one concern with the Enlace proposal was that the property had not been owned at the time, adding that they could not secure a mortgage until the roof was to be replaced. She added that there had been concerns about replacing a roof for an owner that was not an applicant. She then reiterated that many of these projects would be eligible for CDBG funds while municipal buildings would not be.

Councilor Vacon asked if the $4 million would be enough for municipal buildings, noting that needed improvements for the City Hall Annex alone were likely greater than that.

A. Zoeller stated that the budget had been put together to address issues related to Covid such as air quality, replacing carpets, replacing the roof, repointing brick, and other related items. She then noted that the budget had been developed by departments who best know the buildings, the Board of Health and the DPW. She then stated that the air quality was poor in the buildings, noting the prevalence of mold and leaks.

Chairman Bartley asked if some of the funds would go to cleaning up the Assessor’s office. He noted the proposals did not list the buildings.

K. Preissler stated that she could share the application that lists the buildings planned for use of the funds.

Councilor McGiverin asked if the city still owned the property where the boat ramp was located.

A. Zoeller confirmed that it did, adding that it was considered a city park. She added that the improvements would be considered municipal improvements.

Councilor McGiverin asked why it was being kept separate from the other municipal building improvements.

A. Zoeller stated that the $4 million proposal had been submitted through DPW and had included projects such as the library and the fire station improvements but had not included parks and outdoor recreation sites.

Councilor McGiverin asked if it would be under their umbrella.

A. Zoeller stated that it would be under the Parks Department with guidance from the DPW.

Councilor McGiverin stated that Parks Department is under the DPW.

A. Zoeller clarified that the Parks Department would be involved with Holyoke Rows and anything recreational.

Councilor McGiverin noted that the project was to make improvements.

A. Zoeller stated that it was a combination of both.

K. Preissler stated that municipal facilities included City Hall, Annex Building, DPW, the Public Library, and HPD Headquarters.

Councilor Murphy stated that it would also include the Exhibition Hall, the Volleyball Hall of Fame, and Children’s Museum.

Chairman Bartley asked if the Assessor’s office would be addressed within City Hall.

Councilor Murphy confirmed that it should be, adding that anywhere with air quality concerns should be addressed.

Chairman Bartley expressed that funding for Enlace would be better spent for municipal buildings, noting the concern that they did not own the building.

Councilor Sullivan asked if Enlace was in the process of buying their building.

A. Zoeller stated that they were in the process of wanting to buy it but would likely plan to move if they could not buy it.

Councilor Sullivan asked to confirm that there was not any purchase or sale agreement.

A. Zoeller stated that she could not confirm if there was any agreement, but that they had been in serious discussions with a lender to acquire the building.

Councilor Murphy emphasized the importance of considering that if Enlace moved, there would be a large gap in terms of what they provide to the area. He also noted that they planned to continue paying full property taxes. He also stated that they were ready to make an offer but could not get a mortgage without the roof being repaired. He then noted there would be protections to ensure that the roof improvements would only come with the sale.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez expressed support for funding Enlace with the stipulation that roof funding would only come with a sale.

Chairman Bartley stated that he would support the project is there was an agreement. He then noted that funding the project would go against the goal of getting the funds into the community as soon as possible

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendation of $4 million to Department of Public Works: municipal building improvements. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendation of $128,055 to CT Rover Conservancy & Holyoke Rows: SEP River Access Center Boat Ramp Improvements. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Councilor Sullivan made a motion to recommend $250,000 to Boys and Girls Club: Childcare Center Renovations. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Councilor Sullivan noted that letters supporting the project had been received from, Congressman Richard Neal, State Rep Pat Duffy, and State Senator John Velis. He then expressed his belief that the organization would be successful in raising additional needed funds on their own. He noted that they had a waiting list of many children trying to get into the program, adding that it would benefit parents trying to improve their lives and get out of poverty.

Chairman Bartley asked if the motion included reducing $250,000 from another specific project. He noted it did not need to be specified.

Councilor Sullivan suggested returning to that question.

Councilor Tallman expressed his support for the Boys and Girls Club, but noted he had concerns about taking funds away from Enlace. He noted that they were an important agency that had helped many Holyoke citizens.

Chairman Bartley asked for consideration of the goal to get the funds into the community right away. He then suggested it was speculation to consider approving the allocation to Enlace assuming they would purchase the building.

Councilor Tallman expressed confidence that Enlace would purchase the building if they can get the roof repaired.

Councilor Greaney emphasized the importance of understanding where the funding for Boys and Girls Club would come from, adding that supporting them would have long term benefits for the community.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to amend the CAC recommendation to $0 to Holyoke Health Center: Steiger Parking Lot and Drainage. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to amend the CAC recommendation to $50,000 to Enlace de Familias: Roof replacement at 297 Main St, with the condition that the roof replacement must be combined with a sale agreement. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

A. Zoeller asked to clarify that in the previous recommendations, the committee was choosing not to fund the Steiger Parking Lot.

Chairman Bartley confirmed that was correct.

A. Zoeller asked for a recommendation of the station 6 generator through the Holyoke Fire Department.

--->      Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendation of $60,243 to Holyoke Fire Department: Station 6 generator. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

A. Zoeller clarified that in regards to the Boys and Girls Club, they received a quote stating that the work would be $948,690. She noted that they were not making any agency contributions and had not given any indication that they were fundraising. She then stated that they would need to be entirely funded with ARPA. She then asked what the expectation would be if the committee was allocating $250,000, such as conditions or other fundraising commitments.

Chairman Bartley stated that the committee would return to the topic before the end of the meeting.

Councilor Sullivan stated that the generator for Station 6 would be diesel burning, noting that natural gas would not be available.

A. Zoeller asked if the committee was recommending $0 allocations in the same places that the CAC had recommended $0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to City of Holyoke: War Memorial Improvements for Shelter. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Holyoke Fire Department: Station 3 & Station 6. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Providence Ministries: New construction of community annex. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Holyoke Public Library: HVAC and Air Quality Improvements. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Homework House: 211 Bowers Street Build out for program expansion. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Holyoke Housing Authority: South Holyoke Homes Phase 2 - New owner occupied housing. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Appleton Mill Apartments: New apartments at 216 Appleton Street. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Wayfinders: Newton & Cabot Area Housing - rental and owner occupied housing. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $200,000 to OneHolyoke CDC: Rental Neighborhood Improvement Program - rehab. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $300,000 to OneHolyoke CDC: Neighborhood Improvement Program - rehab. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $100,000 to Revitalize CDC: Home modifications for COVID-19 impacted residents (asthma and aging in place). Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Chairman Bartley stated that the next category would be Other COVID-19 Public Health Expenses.

Funding recommendations for a request from Holyoke Fire Department
Turnout Gear for Firefighters: FY21 Request: $338,519, Total ARPA request: $338,519, OCD recommendation: $338,519, CAC recommendation: $338,519

A. Zoeller stated that this was a clear need to ensure there was decontamination between calls.

Funding recommendations for a request from Board of Health
Resource Trailers to Respond to COVID-19: FY21 Request: $500,000, Total ARPA request: $500,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

A. Zoeller stated that this could be a future funding priority, adding that there had been a good discussion with Emergency Management Director, Jeffrey Trask, on possible deployment of the trailers.

Funding recommendations for two requests from Department of Public Works
Ph. 1 Solid Waste Management Improvements - Trash Cans: FY21 Request: $525,000, Total ARPA request: $525,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.
Ph. 2 Solid Waste Management Improvements - Trash Cans: FY21 Request: $1,100,000, Total ARPA request: $1,100,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

A. Zoeller stated that both OCD and CAC believed that if trash cans for residents was a city priority, it should be a DPW line item. She also noted there was a question on what the source of future funding would be.

Councilor Vacon noted the trash can issue had been a constant concern for councilors. She noted that there had been a temporary fix by setting up a fund, adding that decreased revenues for recycling made the mechanism no longer effective. She suggested this could be looked at as a capital expense.

Chairman Bartley suggested that there should be other grant avenues for the turnout gear.

A. Zoeller stated that the Fire Department had identified it as a public health need.

--->      Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $338,519 to Holyoke Fire Department: Turnout Gear for Firefighters. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Board of Health: Resource Trailers to Respond to COVID-19. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Department of Public Works: Ph. 1 Solid Waste Management Improvements - Trash Cans. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Department of Public Works: Ph. 2 Solid Waste Management Improvements - Trash Cans. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

A. Zoeller stated that the next category would be Household Assistant - Rent, Mortgage.

Funding recommendations for a request from Valley Opportunity Council (VOC)
Rent and Mortgage Assistance: FY21 Request: $195,607, Total ARPA request: $782,528, OCD recommendation: $195,607, CAC recommendation: $195,607.

A. Zoeller stated that VOC had been successfully running a Covid related rental assistance program. She stated that the recommendations for funding because it was a challenging program and required full time attention to work with landlords and tenants. She added that VOC office had worked with the policies, procedures, and application process.

Funding recommendations for a request from Enlace de Familias
Rent and Mortgage Assistance: FY21 Request: $800,445, Total ARPA request: $800,445, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $195,607.

A. Zoeller stated that the CAC recommendation had been due to the committee’s desire to spread the work of assistance to additional agencies.

Funding recommendations for a request from Arise for Social Justice
Rent and Utility Assistance: FY21 Request: $50,000, Total ARPA request: $150,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

A. Zoeller stated that the agency intended to work within Holyoke but had not yet had an office in the city. She stated that while they had not recommended ARPA funds, her OCD office would work to bring them into the CDBG process with a smaller grant as a startup. She reiterated that rent and mortgage assistant programs are difficult to administer with a great deal of documentation and regulatory steps to work through.

Councilor Sullivan asked for an explanation of the same allocation to VOC and Enlace to administer a similar program.

A. Zoeller stated that had been the CAC recommendation.

Councilor Sullivan asked if there were figures available for how much in rental assistance had been distributed so far due to Covid.

A. Zoeller stated that roughly $150,000 had been disbursed as of that day, which was around half of their initial Covid related allocation.

Councilor Sullivan asked why they were asking for additional funding if half of their allocation was still available.

A. Zoeller clarified that they continue to may payments on behalf of tenants, but the payment requests to reimburse those payments had not yet been recorded in OCD’s books. She noted they submit requests as batches rather than for each individual tenant.

Councilor Sullivan asked if the program had been going on for over a year.

A. Zoeller stated that it had taken several months after the initial award to get the program running, noting they required guidance on how to administer it first. She added that the program had been operating since around January.

Councilor Sullivan noted that they likely had another $100,000 remaining, adding that additional funds would become available the following year. He then asked if another $400,000 was necessary for the next 12 months.

A. Zoeller noted that with the eviction moratorium in place, tenants may not have yet felt as much pressure as they will when the moratorium ends. She then expressed an expectation that the need would increase in the coming months.

Chairman Bartley noted that the VOC proposal details included $130,000 going to dues and subscriptions. He then questioned if that was accurate. He also noted with an allocation going to Boys and Girls Club, $150,000 would need to be reduced from other recommendations. He then suggested that after a reduction, the remaining funds allocated for the two rental and mortgage and assistance program could be split between the two.

Councilor Tallman emphasized the expected increase in need for rental assistance, adding that he would be open to reducing the allocations. He then suggested it could be $40,000 from each one.

--->     Councilor Sullivan made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations to $150,000 to Valley Opportunity Council: Rental and Mortgage Assistance. Chairman Bartley seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Councilor Sullivan made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $150,000 to Enlace de Familias: Rental and Mortgage Assistance. Chairman Bartley seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Arise for Social Justice: Rent and Utility Assistance. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Chairman Bartley noted the next category was Job Training Assistance.

Funding recommendations for a request from Valley Opportunity Council
Job Training and Placement: FY21 Request: $30,049, Total ARPA request: $120,196, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

A. Zoeller stated that request was to assist people who would otherwise be ineligible for their existing program. She stated that given the many other needs, it had not been recommended for funding.

Chairman Bartley recalled the committee speaking with Stephen Huntley recently, noting that they had learned about success with helping people acquire commercial licenses. He asked if there was any other grant funding available for them.

A. Zoeller stated it would be an opportunity for CDBG funds.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations to $0 to Valley Opportunity Council: Job Training and Placement. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Chairman Bartley noted the next category was Economic Development.

Funding recommendations for a request from Office for Community Development
Small business and HTT Industry Grants: FY21 Request: $1,500,000, Total ARPA request: $7,500,000, OCD recommendation: $1,500,000, CAC recommendation: $1,500,000.

A. Zoeller stated that the proposal was to administer in the grants to small businesses and offer support to the hospitality, travel, and tourism industry. She the stated that the small business grant program had been running throughout Covid providing funding to small businesses. She then stated that this request was to provide a more significant impact to the community, adding that funding could be structured as a grant, loan, or forgivable loan subject to specific conditions. She added that the goal was to assist businesses impacted by Covid and had been in business at the outset of the Covid pandemic. She noted that the target audience was small businesses who would not other be able to access traditional forms of capital.

Chairman Bartley suggested that the request may a little high and that some of the funds could be used for allocation to other programs, noting that additional funds allocated to the Boys and Girls Club needed to be made up.

Councilor Sullivan offered support for reducing the figure in favor of supporting other programs, including the Boys and Girls Club as well as infrastructure items.

Councilor Tallman expressed a concern that $250,000 allocated to the Boys and Girls Club was not enough for their project and that there did not appear to be a plan to raise the additional funds. He questioned allocating funds to a program that may not get completed.

Councilor Greaney suggested that the Boys and Girls Club could modify their proposal to perform a smaller renovation.

Councilor Sullivan suggested that a time restriction could be placed on the Boys and Girls Club, adding that it could be an incentive to seeking additional funds from supportive elected officials.

Councilor Tallman asked if an allocation for the Boys and Girls Club could be pulled back and reallocated if fundraising conditions were not met by a certain deadline.

A. Zoeller stated that they could structure the grant award letter to indicate that they were awarded it but would not have access until they fully fund the project.

Councilor Tallman asked if it would then be made available to other agencies through another vote.

A. Zoeller stated that they would handle it in a similar way as CDBG funding in that they bring it back for reprogramming. She then suggested that if the committee wanted to support the program, they could inform the Boys and Girls Club of their intent to fund them with the next round and give them the year to fundraise. She stated that this would prevent the $250,000 from being tied up from the current round.

Councilor Sullivan expressed a concern that the new membership of the City Council may not support that the following year.

Councilor McGiverin suggested that the same logic could apply to the Roof Replacement for Enlace.

A. Zoeller stated that Enlace cannot get approval for a mortgage until the roof is repaired.

Councilor McGiverin suggested that a commitment from the city could be leveraged for the purposes of acquiring outside funding or financing. He asked that there be consistency in how conditions are applied.

Councilor Vacon asked if staffing needs should have been included in the proposal for the Habitat for Humanity project.

Chairman Bartley suggested that could be brought up during discussion of that project.

Chairman Bartley made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $1 million to Office for Community Development: Small business and HTT Industry Grants. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion.

Councilor Tallman expressed concern that a third may be too large of a cut, noting the impact that Covid had on small businesses.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $1,200,000 to Office for Community Development: Small business and HTT Industry Grants. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Chairman Bartley noted the next category was Aid to Nonprofits.

Funding recommendations for a request from SPARK E For All
Support continued operations in small business development program: FY21 Request: $100,000, Total ARPA request: $300,000, OCD recommendation: $100,000, CAC recommendation: $100,000.

A. Zoeller stated that $100,000 would carry them for a year of programming for their small business development program. She emphasized the importance of funding the program, noting that they provide a pipeline of qualified businesses for small business grants. She stated they had partnered with many of their graduates to provide financing. She also noted they are the only small business program in the city that targets people at the very early stages of starting their own business.

Funding recommendations for a request from Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity
Staffing Capacity for Holyoke Projects: FY21 Request: $137,500, Total ARPA request: $687,500, OCD recommendation: $80,000, CAC recommendation: $80,000.

A. Zoeller stated that they were asked to separate their staffing proposal from their housing proposal in the chance that one or both may not be fully funded. She noted they could do multiple houses with fewer staff. She also noted they use volunteer labor, reducing their labor costs, but still have labor costs construction supervisors and volunteer recruiters.

Funding recommendations for a request from New England Farmworkers Council
Latino Chamber of Commerce & Festive Multi Media: FY21 Request: $416,950, Total ARPA request: $416,950, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

A. Zoeller stated the proposal needed more details. She also noted there had been questions as to whether they had been operating throughout the Covid pandemic. She then reiterated that importance of proposal allocations being tied to Covid-related needs for eligibility related reviews.

Chairman Bartley asked why SPARK E For All was being funded through ARPA, noting that they were consistently funded through CDBG.

A. Zoeller stated that the next round of CDBG would not be until the following July. She then stated that their hope was that the program would be able to expand their program to help more small businesses.

Chairman Bartley asked if they would be expected to make a request for CDBG funds the following year.

A. Zoeller confirmed that was the expectation.

Chairman Bartley expressed his intent to support them but for a lesser amount. He also expressed is intent to support Habitat for Humanity. He then emphasized the value of supporting the Latino Chamber of Commerce, noting that Latino based businesses had been greatly impacted by Covid.

Councilor Sullivan asked for an explanation of the SPARK E For All proposal, noting that $75,000 were to support salaries.

A. Zoeller stated that the salaries would go to the staff members that offer the small business development programs.

Councilor Sullivan asked why $75,000 was being used to pay offering $25,000 in programming.

A. Zoeller clarified that the remaining would be split between equipment, advertising, dues and subscriptions, and contract services. She also clarified that they did issue grants, but provided classes. She also noted that the try to keep the program low cost or free for participants.

Councilor Sullivan reiterated that the proposal shows $75,000 to cover one year of salary for three staff members, adding that it would not guarantee anything going forward. He then questioned if it would benefit many small businesses get started.

A. Zoeller clarified that they were asking for the funds to cover the staffing needs of those who provide the classes and the classroom experience of the small business development program. She noted that someone has to run the program. She stated that the benefit to the businesses would be to provide skills training for running a business that may not otherwise be available.

Councilor Greaney asked to clarify that part of the funding for salaries was to pay people who provide classes.

A. Zoeller stated that hiring experts for training would be covered under a part of the proposal labeled contract services.

Councilor Greaney asked to clarify that this was not from the three $25,000 salary sections of the proposal.

A. Zoeller reiterated that the $75,000 was for salaries, with the remaining $25,000 split as $3,400 for equipment, $4,300 for advertising, $2,400 for dues and subscriptions, and $14,900 for contract services.

Councilor Greaney asked how many salaries were covered with the $75,000.

A. Zoeller stated that it would pay a share of three salaries.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez expressed her support for the program. She observed having seen many new businesses opening as a result of the program. She suggested the request would be to offset some of their salaries, adding that they were also likely impacted by Covid. She also noted the potential benefit of growing the tax base in the city.

Chairman Bartley expressed his support for the program, though not at the full $100,000 request. He also noted the need to focus on sustainably in making funding decisions. He questioned if there was sustainability in funding three salaries.

Chairman Bartley made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $50,000 to SPARK E For All: Support continued operations in small business development program. Motion failed for lack of a second.

Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations to $80,000 to Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity: Staffing Capacity for Holyoke Projects. Motion failed for lack of a second.

--->      Councilor Tallman made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $40,000 to Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity: Staffing Capacity for Holyoke Projects. Chairman Bartley seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $100,000 to SPARK E For All: Support continued operations in small business development program. Councilor Lebron-Martinez seconded the motion. Motion failed 2-3.

Councilor Tallman asked if the program could continue to operate if the allocation was cut.

A. Zoeller stated that it may result in fewer programs or staffing.

Chairman Bartley noted that they had been able to run with CDBG and other funds.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $50,000 to SPARK E For All: Support continued operations in small business development program. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-2.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $50,000 to New England Farmworkers Council: Latino Chamber of Commerce & Festive Multi Media. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Chairman Bartley noted the next category was Services to Disproportionately Impacted: Education Assistance - Academic Services.

Funding recommendations for a request from Homework House
After School Academic and Enrichment Program: FY21 Request: $348,541, Total ARPA request: $1,834,244, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

Funding recommendations for a request from The Care Center
To and Through College: FY21 Request: $200,000, Total ARPA request: $400,00, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

A. Zoeller that these two were great programs but were CDBG eligible. She also stated that they sought to use ARPA funds for expansion of services, noting that these two proposals did not show such an expansion.

Chairman Bartley suggested offering support to Homework House, noting that they have a record of stretching every dollar they receive. He noted that $300,000 had been reduced from the HTT and Small business proposal.

Councilor Greaney expressed his support for the program, noting the valuable services they offer.

Councilor Sullivan stated that this was an example of a program providing long term benefits.

Councilor McGiverin asked if much of the proposal request was for salaries.

A. Zoeller stated that was correct.

Councilor McGiverin noted that while most of the service they provide is through hiring, it appeared the director’s salary was being quadrupled.

A. Zoeller suggested that the figure may be to cover multiple years of salary.

Councilor McGiverin asked how a $50,000 allocation would be broken down with Homework House.

A. Zoeller clarified that they would approve the budget, adding that her office can make forward specific suggestions to the mayor to consider when he makes his final allocations. She then confirmed that the request would cover five years of salary.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $50,000 to Homework House: After School Academic and Enrichment Program. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Councilor Sullivan made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to The Care Center: To and Through College. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.
*Later reconsidered an amended

Councilor Lebron-Martinez made a motion to reconsider the previous action. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez suggested that the Care Center should receive some funding, noting that they provide valuable educational support services for teen moms, provide daycare while moms attend school, and help with transitional services for college. She added that many who have been helped with the program have gone on to be very successful.

Chairman Bartley suggested that they should be considered for support, noting that funding was allocated to support a boat ramp.

Councilor Sullivan asked where the Care Center was located.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez stated that it was located Cabot St. She added that they provide a college bound course opportunity to provide a path toward enrolling in a college.

Councilor Sullivan asked why there had not been a recommendation for funding.

A. Zoeller stated that the primary reason was that program was CDBG eligible. She also stated that they were looking to fund larger scale activities with the ARPA funds. She also noted one of the requirements of ARPA was a significant expansion of current servicing. She noted that they do great work but do well with fundraising from outside entities.

K. Preissler clarified that growth in programming should be tied to Covid to be appropriate for receiving ARPA funds.

Councilor Greaney suggested that everyone had been impacted by Covid, adding that $50,000 for this program was not too much to ask for.

--->      Councilor Lebron-Martinez made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $50,000 to The Care Center: To and Through College. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Chairman Bartley noted the next category was Services to Disproportionately Impacted: Education Assistance - Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Services.

Funding recommendations for a request from River Valley Counseling Center
Rise to Resiliency Training with HPS: FY21 Request: $153,149, Total ARPA request: $529,946, OCD recommendation: $529,946, CAC recommendation: $317,968

Funding recommendations for a request from Big Brothers Big Sisters
Holyoke Mentoring: FY21 Request: $24,540, Total ARPA request: $49,080, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

Funding recommendations for a request from Girls Inc.
Together We Rise Mental Health for Girls: FY21 Request: $120,741, Total ARPA request: $693,610, OCD recommendation: $693,610, CAC recommendation: $416,166.

Funding recommendations for a request from Greater Holyoke YMCA
Mental Health Support for Holyoke Youth: FY21 Request: $366,565, Total ARPA request: $366,565, OCD recommendation: $366,565, CAC recommendation: $219,939.

Funding recommendations for a request from Roca, Inc.
Behavioral Health Interventions for Young People: FY21 Request: $300,000, Total ARPA request: $900,000, OCD recommendation: $300,000, CAC recommendation: $300,000.

A. Zoeller stated that this was an area with a need for significant funding to ensure the emotional health of young people in the community was taken care of in light of Covid. She noted that the recommended funding for all programs in the section other than Big Brother Big Sisters due to them having a current allocation of unused CDBG funds. She then reiterated that ensuring mental health capacity and wellness for youth was a critical need. She also noted that they had recommended either full support or that they had multi-year requests.

Councilor Vacon asked if there would be adequate balance for boys and girls between the various providers throughout the section.

A. Zoeller stated that the only one that would be limited on gender would be Girls Inc. She added that the remaining would provide an equal balance.

Councilor Vacon asked to confirm there would be access for any child that needed it.

A. Zoeller confirmed there would be.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez asked for an age range for the services providing, noting that the River Valley program was more for older youth.

Chairman Bartley noted that the four programs added up to around $1.25 million, roughly 10% of the total allocation.

A. Zoeller stated that River Valley services would start in Peck Middle School, with an expansion to other schools.

K. Preissler stated Girls Inc. would provide services to ages 5 to 18. She also stated that the YMCA would provide services for ages 2 to 13.

A. Zoeller stated that Roca would provide services to teens.

Councilor Tallman asked to clarify that some of the programs could be supported for multiple years.

A. Zoeller confirmed that was accurate. She stated that different funding levels reflected fully funding for their total request.

K. Preissler stated that the Roca recommendation was for the first year only as they were requesting funding to expand an existing program, and that year to year funding made more sense. She also noted that the other programs had recommendations for full funding in order to get their programs started in the first year with hiring and training.

Councilor Tallman noted that the CAC has recommended less for a few of the programs then OCD had.

A. Zoeller clarified that OCD recommendations were for five years while the CAC recommendations reflected three years of funding.

Councilor Sullivan asked for an explanation of the teacher training that the Rise to Resiliency program would provide.

A. Zoeller stated that the training would train teachers and other school employees to be aware of the impacts of trauma on children and to be able to intervene before behaviors get out of control, and to make referral to additional services.

Councilor Sullivan asked why the school budgets would not cover this kind of training already rather than utilizing an outside agency.

Councilor Greaney noted that schools have counselors, special education teachers, and other types of mental health support. He echoed Councilor Sullivan’s concern about the using an outside agency to train educators.

Councilor Sullivan noted that $92,00 of the request would be used for dues and subscriptions, adding it did not appear to be a good use of the funds.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the CAC recommendation of $219,939 to Greater Holyoke YMCA: Mental Health Support for Holyoke Youth. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Big Brothers Big Sisters: Holyoke Mentoring. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $300,000 to Roca, Inc.: Behavioral Health Interventions for Young People. Motion failed for lack of a second.

--->      Councilor Lebron-Martinez made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $200,000 to Roca, Inc.: Behavioral Health Interventions for Young People. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 4-1.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $250,000 to Girls Inc.: Together We Rise Mental Health for Girls. Councilor Lebron-Martinez seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Councilor Sullivan made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $0 to River Valley Counseling Center: Rise to Resiliency Training with HPS. Chairman Bartley seconded the motion. Motion passed 4-1.

Chairman Bartley noted the next category was Services to Disproportionately Impacted: Childcare

Funding recommendations for a request from Boys and Girls Club
Childcare: FY21 Request: $40,000, Total ARPA request: $200,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $120,000.

Councilor Murphy noted that the first year request had been for $40,000. He asked if the $120,000 recommendation was for a three year commitment.

A. Zoeller confirmed that was accurate.

Councilor Sullivan emphasized the value of the program, noting that it was summer camp program for homeless and DCF enrolled youth.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the CAC recommendation of $120,000 to Boys and Girls Club: Childcare. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Chairman Bartley noted the next category was Services to Disproportionately Impacted: Healthy Environment.

Funding recommendations for a request from CT River Conservancy and Holyoke Rows
Youth Boating and Rowing Programs: FY21 Request: $243,102, Total ARPA request: $338,832, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $243,102.

A. Zoeller recommended allocating enough to cover the program’s entire budget, including what had been allocated for them through a previous section.

J. Preissler stated that their intent was to combine the budget for programming and improvements and handle the funds chronologically. She then noted that their entire budget would be $466,888. She added that the entire sum would cover several improvements planned for a specific timeline.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez emphasized the benefits of the rowing program with many of the youths she had worked with. She also noted many kids that did not know about the program were physically and mentally helped by the opportunity to get outdoors.

Councilor Greaney questioned the value of combining programming and infrastructure budgets. He recognized that infrastructure would have year-round benefits. He then asked if programming was throughout the year or seasonal.

A. Zoeller stated that the facility is open all year, including indoor rowing programming during the winter.

Councilor McGiverin expressed his support for the project. He then noted that as a municipally owned property, the improvements should be under the DPW budget.

Chairman Bartley asked why OCD had not recommended funding.

A. Zoeller stated that OCD recommendations were out before an in-depth conversation had taken place with the applicant. She also stated that they would have recommended fully funding with the benefit of the new budgetary information they received.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the CAC recommendation of $243,102 to CT River Conservancy and Holyoke Rows: Youth Boating and Rowing Programs. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Chairman Bartley noted the next categories included Services to Disproportionately Impacted: Housing Support, Social Determinants of Health: Benefits Navigator, Social Determinants of Health: Community Violence, Premium Pay for Public Sector Employees, and Clean Water: Combined Sewer Overflow. He then suggested that the entire group be handled at once.

Funding recommendations for a request from Providence Ministries
Staff support for community annex: FY21 Request: $130,800, Total ARPA request: $523,200, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

A. Zoeller reiterated that there were additional details to be worked out with Providence Ministries to figure out what the shelter and servicing would look like.

Funding recommendations for a request from Alianza DV Services (formerly WomanShelter)
Housing Advocate Pathways to Housing: FY21 Request: $55,040, Total ARPA request: $172,497, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

A. Zoeller stated that they were not recommending funding for this program since they were currently funded with CDBG and CDBG Covid funds.

Funding recommendations for a request from Police Department
Shot Spotters, Tasers: FY21 Request: $336,000, Total ARPA request: $336,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

Funding recommendations for a request from Valley Opportunity Council
Emergency Stabilization for Domestic Violence : FY21 Request: $346,930, Total ARPA request: $1,387,720, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

A. Zoeller stated that this was a CDBG eligible activity.

Funding recommendations for a request from Police Department
$1000 per HPD employee: FY21 Request: $142,000, Total ARPA request: $142,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

A. Zoeller stated that the Police Department asked for premium pay for their employees. She then noted that many public sector employees had worked throughout Covid, adding that premium pay could be addressed in a more comprehensive way in the next round if the city wanted to pursue that.

Funding recommendations for a request from Department of Public Works
Springdale Pond Sewer Separation: FY21 Request: $675,000, Total ARPA request: $675,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

Funding recommendations for a request from Department of Public Works
Jackson Street Area Sewer Separation: FY21 Request: $1 million, Total ARPA request: $1 million, OCD recommendation: $1 million, CAC recommendation: $0.

Funding recommendations for a request from Department of Public Works
Sewer System Rehab: FY21 Request: $2.5 million, Total ARPA request: $5 million, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $2 million.

A. Zoeller stated that their recommendation for $2 million to the sewer system rehab came as a result of discussions with DPW Director, Mike McManus.

Chairman Bartley noted that tasers for the Police Department had been funded on a couple occasions in recent years, adding that Shot Spotters had not been funded before. He recalled there had been a discussion in 2012 regarding this. He then noted that there had been many recent shootings in the city, including six murders the previous year. He then expressed an interest in supporting Shot Spotters, and asked how much the budget for that specific request was.

A. Zoeller stated that the budget was pending. She stated that the concern was that the initial investment would be for lease of equipment and it had not been clear how they would be funded in additional years.

K. Preissler stated that it would be $99,000 per year for the rental agreement that would include tech support and management.

A. Zoeller stated that ARPA funds should be used for making longer term investments and to avoid spending the funds to install something that may not get funded in future years. She then suggested that the Police Department could find alternative funding sources to ensure long term viability.

Councilor Vacon asked if Shot Spotters could be paid for as a capital expense of if it was only available through a lease.

A. Zoeller clarified that it was a leased equipment. She noted that the monitoring of it is done by the Shot Spotters company.

K. Preissler added that the expense would be for a service as much as it would be for equipment.

Councilor Murphy stated that the Fire Department and Action Ambulance had both expressed their support for the benefit of the Shot Spotters service from a public safety standpoint. He noted that when calls come in about shots bring fired, they may arrive a few blocks from the incident took place, adding to response time. He also noted that past investment in tasers had not provided enough for every officer to be equipped with one.

Councilor Greaney asked if there was feedback from other communities using Shot Spotters.

Chairman Bartley stated that he had heard good feedback from Springfield.

Councilor Murphy echoed Chairman Bartley’s sentiment, adding that the service had allowed first responders to get to a scene much quicker.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Providence Ministries: Staff support for community annex. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Alianza DV Services (formerly WomanShelter): Housing Advocate Pathways to Housing. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Police Department: $1000 per HPD employee: Housing Advocate Pathways to Housing. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Chairman Bartley asked for a clarification of the recommendations for the Sewer System Rehab.

A. Zoeller stated that the recommendation to this project in the first round resulted from discussions with the DPW and the City Engineer.

Councilor Murphy stated that the concern was that the sewer system was a greater hazard and a greater potential financial impact to the city if the issue did not get dealt with. He also noted that they were worried about collapses and that internal parts had a serious need of replacement. He added that the total expense could be close to $15 million and that this investment would get the project started.

Councilor Vacon asked for consideration of using any remaining funding after cuts as an allocation to the Jackson Street project.

A. Zoeller asked to clarify her understanding that the Jackson Street project was already funded.

Councilor Murphy confirmed that was correct.

A. Zoeller stated that one consideration in making recommendations was whether or not projects were already funded and would they make an impact to ratepayers.

Councilor Vacon clarified that the project was funded through a bond, adding that applying ARPA funds could reduce the bonding expenses.

Councilor Murphy stated that they needed clarification to verify if projects already funded through bonding would be eligible for ARPA funds.

Councilor Sullivan expressed his understanding that projects which had already begun would not be eligible.

A. Zoeller stated that the guidance was not clear on that question. She stated it was clear ARPA funds could not be paid toward the financing costs of a project, but that they may be able to allocate funds toward construction costs or change orders. She reiterated there was a need to clarify the language.

Councilor Sullivan noted that there was a great need to address sewer projects throughout the city.

Councilor McGiverin emphasized that applying more resources toward sewer separation projects would have a great impact keeping sewer rates lower. He then suggested that some funding could be allocated toward the Springdale Pond project, noting that the city faced a coming mandate to separate sewer lines and storm drains.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the CAC recommendation of $2 million to Department of Public Works: Sewer System Rehab. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Valley Opportunity Council: Emergency Stabilization for Domestic Violence. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Department of Public Works: Springdale Pond Sewer Separation. Chairman Bartley seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve the CAC recommendation of $0 to Department of Public Works: Jackson Street Area Sewer Separation. Chairman Bartley seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Chairman Bartley expressed his sentiment that Shot Spotters should be funded.

Councilor Tallman echoed the sentiment, adding that he was concerned about funding it in future years.

Councilor Greaney asked if the contract was done on an annual basis. He then suggested that it could be approved now and then not renewed if the funding is not there in the future. He then expressed his support for the measure if it was going to improve public safety.

Chairman Bartley suggested that the argument should rest on if the service works.

Chairman Bartley made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $336,000 to Police Department: Shot Spotters, Tasers. Motion failed for lack of a second.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez suggested that the program could be funded for the first year.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $99,000 to Police Department: Shot Spotters, Tasers. Chairman Bartley seconded the motion.

Councilor Murphy expressed concern that $99,000 would not cover the initial capital expense.

A. Zoeller stated that their request included $198,000 for contract services and $136,000 for equipment.

K. Preissler stated that the taser request had been for 30 tasers at $1,200 each. She suggested there may be a need for more clarification.

A. Zoeller stated that the Police Department proposals included $198,000 for Shot Spotters to cover 2 years for 2 square miles, $138,000 for 40 tasers and necessary related equipment, plus the additional proposal for premium pay.

Councilor Sullivan asked if the premium pay was connected to the tasers.

A. Zoeller clarified that the premium pay was a separate $142,000 request. She noted that the premium pay had already been voted on.

Councilor Vacon suggested that covering 2 square miles for Shot Spotters would not be effective.

Chairman Bartley noted that the city was around 22 square miles. He then suggested they would likely target the area for effective use.

Councilor Vacon noted that shootings happen all over the place.

Councilor Murphy asked if there was a vote on Shot Spotters.

Chairman Bartley stated that they would return to the request later. He then noted the next categories would be Drinking Water: Transmission & Distribution, Drinking Water: Storage, and Broadband: Other Projects.

Funding recommendations for a request from Holyoke Water Works
Water Line Replacement - Fairfield, Morgan, Nonotuck, Pleasant (190 HH QCT): FY21 Request: $2,240,000, Total ARPA request: $2,240,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

Funding recommendations for a request from Holyoke Water Works
Water Line Replacement - Hampden, East Dwight, Portland, Magnolia (193 HH QCT): FY21 Request: $4,794,000, Total ARPA request: $4,794,000, OCD recommendation: $4,794,000, CAC recommendation: $0.

Funding recommendations for a request from Holyoke Water Works
West Holyoke Storage Tank: FY21 Request: $314,500, Total ARPA request: $3,145,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

Funding recommendations for a request from Holyoke Water Works
Whiting Street Reservoir Dam Improvements: FY21 Request: $3,456,000, Total ARPA request: $3,456,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

Funding recommendations for a request from Holyoke Gas and Electric
Network Design, pole readiness, pilot to 100 QCT households: FY21 Request: $3,583,280, Total ARPA request: $15 million, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

Funding recommendations for a request from OneHolyoke CDC, HG&E, HHA, Wayfinders, VOC
WiFi access to affordable housing units: FY21 Request: $280,000, Total ARPA request: $280,000, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

A. Zoeller stated that one of the ARPA requirements was that the city would need to demonstrate that it was supporting households in qualified census tracts, adding that it was a smaller footprint than CDBG census tracts. She noted that their recommendation for the Water Line Replacement project at Hampden, East Dwight, Portland, and Magnolia rested on the fact that the area included service to a hospital.

K. Preissler stated that the may seek to apply funding to more projects with additional funding but had closely stuck to the prioritization list of the Water Works.

Councilor Sullivan suggested that this water replacement was one of the most important infrastructure improvements in the city, noting that it included fire protection, water quality, and a section of the system in worse shape than on Fairfield Ave. He also noted the potential benefit of avoiding greater rate increases to the entire community. He also noted that delaying the work would result in higher expenses for the work in the next year.

Councilor Vacon asked if the dam improvements would qualify under the restrictions of the funding.

A. Zoeller stated that this one would require additional research. She noted that while it was not located in an area with a qualified census tract, she believed there could be an argument that it would have significant economic development impacts for the city.

Councilor Sullivan stated that dam project could be delayed by draining the water to a lower level.

A. Zoeller noted that a running total of the remaining funds for allocation was available.

Chairman Bartley stated that the remaining total was $2,617,297.

K. Preissler clarified that $12,329,858 had been allocated from $14.9 million provided in the first round of ARPA funds.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Holyoke Water Works: Water Line Replacement - Fairfield, Morgan, Nonotuck, Pleasant. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Holyoke Water Works: West Holyoke Storage Tank. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Holyoke Water Works: Whiting Street Reservoir Dam Improvements. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Holyoke Gas and Electric: Network Design, pole readiness, pilot to 100 QCT households. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to OneHolyoke CDC, HG&E, HHA, Wayfinders, VOC: WiFi access to affordable housing units. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Councilor Murphy asked for consideration of allowing Dave Conti from the Water Works to speak on the impact to ratepayers if funding for the Water Line Replacement was approved.

Motion was made and seconded to suspend the necessary rules to allow Dave Conti to address the committee.

Councilor Tallman asked if funding for water line projects would help keep rates lower.

D. Conti stated that had been the intention of applying for funding. He then stated that the projects would be going forward with projected rate increases tied to them. He then added that any funds to offset costs would be used to reduce rate increases.

Councilor Murphy asked what percentage of an increase would be offset with the $4.7 million request, as well as what the average ratepayer would be paying.

D. Conti stated that the projections showed funding for this water line replacement project would reduce rates by 3 cents or just under 7 percent. He stated that the average household uses 22,500 gallons of water per quarter and 90,000 gallons per year. He then stated that the savings would be around $27 a year.

Councilor McGiverin noted that the Whiting Street Reservoir Committee had been studying many ideas such as passive activities. He asked if there would be impacts on their proposals if the reservoir level needed to be lowered.

D. Conti stated that they had already been lowering it due to concerns about overflow and dam failure. He added that they expected the spillway would be designed and a bid would go out in 2022, with construction to begin in 2023. He then noted they were in the regulatory process to seek the necessary permits. He then stated that the committee’s recommendation should not be impacted by the work on the dam.

Chairman Bartley noted that without cuts to previously allocated projects, the remaining funds would not fully cover the water line replacement project. He then asked if a portion would provide some benefit.

D. Conti stated that the project had just begun its design phase and was expected to begin construction in summer of 2022. He also noted that there would be additional projects in the future, adding that this one had been seen as a priority.

Councilor Sullivan asked for an estimated cost of the future projects.

D. Conti stated that two additional projects were around $3 million each.

Councilor Sullivan emphasized that the public should be aware of the future expenses that will be coming.

Councilor Tallman suggested moving forward to the final page to better understand how much would be available for the water line project.

Chairman Bartley noted the next category would be Administrative.

Funding recommendations for a request from Office for Community Development
Administration and Planning: FY21 Request: $213,200, Total ARPA request: $1,300,000, OCD recommendation: $1,300,000, CAC recommendation: $1,300,00.

Funding recommendations for a request from City Clerk’s Office
Records Management and Digitation: FY21 Request: $45,000, Total ARPA request: $45,000, OCD recommendation: $45,000, CAC recommendation: $45,000.

A. Zoeller noted that there were five additional projects with requests that had been identified as eligible for CARES Act funding that had still been available for allocation. These included Community Roots: Veterans Lunch Program, Holyoke Veterans Office: Veterans Transportation, Holyoke Public Library: Laptop Lending and Outdoor WiFi Hotspot, Providence Ministries for the Needy: Used Refrigerated Box Truck for Mobile Food Bank, and Nueva Esperanza: Food Distribution.

K. Preissler clarified that they had been preapproved as eligible for CARES Act funding but had not yet been awarded those funds.

Chairman Bartley asked if there was an estimated level of funding for those projects.

K. Preissler stated that it would be one year of funding.

Councilor Murphy stated that they were waiting to get the balance on CARES Act funding to determine how much was available.

K. Preissler stated that the CARES Act funding rules would allow for just one year of funding, noting it would expire after that.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Community Roots, Holyoke Veterans Office, Holyoke Public Library, Providence Ministries, and Nueva Esperanza. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

A. Zoeller stated that OCD request was to cover the administration and planning of the ARPA fund program for five years. She then stated that the City Clerk’s office request was to allow the city to improve records management, adding that the Covid pandemic illustrated how critical remote records access was.

Chairman Bartley asked if all five years of funding for the OCD office needed to be allocated at once.

A. Zoeller recommended the entire budget be set aside to ensure continuity of staff and servicing.

Chairman Bartley suggested allocating for three years right away to allow more funding to go to the Water Works project.

Councilor Sullivan suggested that funding two years now and three years with the next round would cover the needs. He then asked why it all needed to be covered now.

A. Zoeller stated that it would ensure staff continuity and to allow staff to know that their jobs are fully funded. She then noted that a future administration could decide not to fund it, resulting in the program no longer existing.

Councilor Vacon recognized the sense behind fully funding and ensuring the longevity of the position. She then expressed doubt that there was a risk of future funding not being allocated for this need, noting that the city knows the funds would be coming from the federal government. She added that infrastructure funding was a more compelling immediate need. She then recommended looking back through previous allocations to find additional sources of funds for infrastructure.

Councilor Sullivan emphasized that investments in infrastructure would benefit the community for many generations.

--->      Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $45,000 to City Clerk’s Office: Records Management and Digitation. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

--->      Councilor Sullivan made a motion to amend the OCD and CAC recommendations to $426,400 to Office for Community Development: Administration and Planning. Chairman Bartley seconded the motion. Motion passed 4-1.

Funding recommendations for a request from Gary Rome Hyundai
Electric Vehicle Charger Infrastructure: FY21 Request: $147,869, Total ARPA request: $147,869, OCD recommendation: $0, CAC recommendation: $0.

--->      Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $426,400 to Gary Rome Hyundai: Electric Vehicle Charger Infrastructure. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

K. Preissler stated that $2,146,297 remained in available funding.

Councilor Greaney asked if the suggested $516,000 to keep as a reserve needed to be saved or if it could be used for infrastructure.

Councilor Murphy suggested that the committee determine what they think would be best. He then stated that he would spend the following two weeks considering the proposals and recommendations, as well as observing the direction of the pandemic’s impacts. He expressed his understanding that additional funds would be made available if the crisis worsened.

Chairman Bartley noted that the Water Line Replacement and Shot Spotter proposals were the two remaining items requiring a vote. He suggested that additional flexibility could be found by reducing Municipal Building Improvements or Small Business Grants.

Councilor Tallman suggested revisiting Shot Spotters at a later time, noting the limited coverage and the need for more information.

--->      Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $0 to Police Department: Shot Spotters, Tasers. Chairman Bartley seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Councilor Sullivan asked if allocating $2 million to the Water Line Replacement would help move the project forward. He also asked if that would satisfy ARPA funding requirements.

D. Conti stated that any funds for the project would be well received and would benefit the goal of minimizing rate increases.

A. Zoeller expressed a concern that projects typically would not go out to bid until they are fully funded. She then asked where the remaining funds would come from.

D. Conti clarified that funding for the projects had already been approved by the City Council through bonding.

Chairman Bartley asked if ARPA funds could be used to reduce what was bonded.

A. Zoeller stated that it could be done by applying the ARPA funds to construction costs as opposed to financing. She noted that she would confirm that was correct before proceeding with the allocation.

Councilor Sullivan asked if additional funds could be applied to the project with the next round of ARPA funds if the bonding payments had not begun.

A. Zoeller stated that she would need to seek additional information before knowing for sure, noting that the project will have gone out to bid by that time which could trigger additional compliance concerns.

Councilor Sullivan asked how long it would take to start the future Phase 3A project not on the current request list.

D. Conti stated that it was planned to go into the design stages in the summer of 2022, with bidding to follow in early 2023.

Councilor Vacon suggested that it was just a matter of potentially reallocating funds in the spreadsheet, noting that the Mayor could do that when he makes his final allocation decisions.

Councilor Greaney asked if $4 million was needed for Municipal Building Improvements.

Chairman Bartley suggested that the Mayor could determine that.

Councilor Tallman suggested that the balance be applying to the Water Line Replacement.

Councilor Sullivan stated that allocating $2 million would allow leftover funds to be reserved as a buffer.

--->      Councilor Sullivan made a motion to approve the OCD and CAC recommendations of $2 million to Holyoke Water Works: Water Line Replacement - Hampden, East Dwight, Portland, Magnolia. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.

Chairman Bartley offered his thanks to OCD and the CAC for their work.

Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve recommendations. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

 

Item 3: Schedule September meeting

--->      Next meeting scheduled for September 27th at 6:00 PM.

 

Adjourned at 9:51 PM.


Jeffery Anderson-Burgos
Administrative Assistant to the City Council

Holyoke City Hall
536 Dwight St, Room 10
Holyoke, MA 01040
Regular hours 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Meeting days 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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