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Development & Governmental Relations Committee Meeting January 25, 2021

Jan 25 2021

6:30 pm Remote by Zoom

,

City Council

Holyoke Massachusetts

 

Notice of Committee Meeting

There will be a regular meeting of the committee on

 

Development & Governmental Relations (DGR)

 

Meeting to take place remotely on Zoom Meetings on Tuesday 1/25/21 at 6:30PM

Per order of the Chair: David Bartley

 

*** Meeting will take place remotely and can be accessed via www.zoom.us Meeting ID: 826 1397 0812 Meeting Passcode: 894276 or by call in at 1 (929)205-6099 with same Meeting ID and Passcode.  ***

 

Agenda:

Item 1: Minutes from the last meeting.

Item 2: Amendment to the FY2019 Annual Plan to incorporate CDBG-CV Funds (Part II - Round 3) in the amount of $486,324.00.

Item 3: PUBLIC HEARING 11/4/20 Special Permit Application of Jill LaBeau for a driveway at the front of the house, facing the house at 23 O’Connor Ave. (Map 074 Block 00 Parcel 024).

Item 4: PUBLIC HEARING 12/15/20 Special Permit Application of Gina and Raquel Fasoli Figueroa for a painting business at 145 Mountain View Drive (Map 135 Block 00 Parcel 006).

Item 5a: PUBLIC HEARING (Continuation from December 14, 2020) 11/17/20 Special Permit Application of The Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Inc. for a Drive-Thru Facility per section 7.1.6 of the Holyoke Zoning Ordinance at 500 Easthampton Rd. (Map 213 Block 00 Parcel 003).

Item 5b: 9-15-20 Letter from R. Levesque Associates requesting reinstatement and one year extension to approved special permit for Drive-Thru Facility at 500 Easthampton Road.

Item 5c: 500 Easthampton Traffic Analysis

Item 5d: 500 Easthampton Road Request for Continuance

Item 6a: 12-1-20 McGee – Ordered, Pursuant 301 CMR 51.07(1)(b), I, Todd McGee, Chairman of the City Council of the City of Holyoke, hereby agree to waive the 120 day notice period as required by said section as to a parcel of land of approximately 21.745 acres in the City of Holyoke, shown on Exhibit A attached hereto, in which the Department of Conservation and Recreation is considering acquiring an interest. Map-Lot 217-00-006

Item 6b: 12-1-20 Letter from Trustees of Reservations requesting support for waiver of 120 day notice period for DCR to acquire parcel.

Item 7: 12-15-20 Lisi, Leahy – Resolution related to GAH (Geriatric Authority of Holyoke) sale, amended to replace “Ware” with “Palmer.”

Item 8: 1-21-20 Greaney – Ordered, that the City Council be provided with a list of all non-profits including addresses and parties responsible for those sites, in the City of Holyoke.

Item 9a: 12-1-20 Bartley – Ordered, The Law Department provide an update to the City Council on the City’s Receivership program. This is our semi-annual review.

Item 9b: 12-1-20 Documents highlighting Current Receiverships & Updates and Completed Receiverships

Item 9c: 12-1-20 Daily Hampshire Gazette article dated 11-19-20 titled “Problem Properties: Holyoke grapples with dozens of run-down and dangerous sites”

Item 10: 12-15-20 McGiverin – Ordered, that the City Council’s DGR Committee work with the Planning Department and Mayoral designees to redraw the ward lines according to the new federal census.

Item 11: 12-1-20 Murphy, Anderson-Burgos, Lebron-Martinez, Lisi, McGee, Hernandez, Leahy, Tallman – Ordered, that the DGR committee meet with Holyoke Media to put together an action plan to televise city council meetings and sub-committee meetings translated into Spanish. The goal should be to televise within 48 hours of the actual meeting.

Item 12: 12-1-20 Murphy – Ordered, that the DGR committee meet with Holyoke Media, the mayor, the health director, and representatives from the Opioid Substance Abuse Task Force program, to present a five to ten minute video to be televised on Ch 15 on the importance of persons not contributing to panhandlers. The emphasis should be on the negative impact of doing so, in terms of panhandlers rejecting offers which could much more significantly improve the quality of their lives. Once the program is completed, it should be shown just prior to city council meetings on Ch 15.

Item 13: 12-1-20 Murphy, Lisi, Anderson-Burgos – Ordered, that the DGR committee meet with Holyoke Media about the possibility of having more programming on Ch 15. Is it possible to have some regular half hour programs which could both entertain and inform residents?

Item 14: Schedule next meeting. Potential dates: 2/22, 3/29, 4/26, 5/24, 6/14

DGR Chair: David Bartley

 

Development and Governmental Relations Committee

January 25, 2021

 

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

Other councilors present: Terry Murphy, Linda Vacon, Jim Leahy, Rebecca Lisi, Joe McGiverin

 

Chairman Bartley called the meeting to order at 6:32pm.

Chairman Bartley noted there are minutes from the meetings on December 7th, 2020 and December 14th, 2020 but hadn’t had a chance to read and suggested tabling.

 

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

 

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

 

Item 2: Amendment to the FY2019 Annual Plan to incorporate CDBG-CV Funds (Part II - Round 3) in the amount of $486,324.00.

Councilor Tallman a motion to suspend the rules to allow Alicia Zoeller to address the committee. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Zoeller stated that in the spring, the city received around $700K in CDBG funds, for purpose of preparing, preventing, and addressing Covid. Awarded an additional $486,324 to prepare for and address Covid. Stated they are looking for the committee to accept the grant.

Chairman Bartley asked what the funds would be for.

Zoeller stated there are 3 main categories. For economic development, they are proposing $100K for small business grants. For public service, they are proposing $341K to address food insecurity, rental and legal assistance, and childcare. Also meeting community’s pandemic response through Board of Health - $225K. Finally, administration and planning of these activities: $45,324. Stated the total is $486,324.

Chairman Bartley asked what the $100K for small businesses would be used for.

Zoeller stated that $75K had been used so far going to 15 businesses to preserve 19 full and part time jobs, adding that she expects the $100K to be used in the same format. Also stated up to $10K would go to small businesses to retain jobs worked by or businesses owned by those with low to moderate income.

Chairman Bartley asked for a communication on the $75K.

Zoeller Been stated they had been working with the Chamber to get compliance pieces in place. Confirmed she could send communication when that is done.

Chairman Bartley asked about small businesses getting the information on how to apply.

Zoeller stated that people could call the office at 413-322-5610. Also stated they were working with Chamber to determine best way to deploy funds. Also noted hope to set up a training video on how to apply and understand criteria.

Chairman Bartley asked about information available on the webpage.

Zoeller stated there is information on the Facebook page, but may not be uploaded to the webpage, noting technical difficulties with accessing it.

Chairman Bartley noted that there is a new city website, asked for clarification of the issue.

Zoeller stated that compliance manager was working on getting info uploaded and working through technical glitches.

Chairman Bartley asked who with the city was helping. Noted that city expense to Whalley is around $400k.

Zoeller stated that she believes the organization helping is ProudCity, adding they have been using alternate means of communication. Also stated that those interested can email or call the office.

Chairman Bartley stated that there is be an onsite person helping with these issues. Asked for clarification of $341K amount.

Zoeller stated that $116K is for existing public services, organizations already serving community but had exhausted their funds. Also stated that $225K goes for Board of Health to continue public response to Covid, rolling out vaccine, proper messaging, inspections, nursing services, contact tracing/.

Councilor Greaney asked if the city has sites picked out for the vaccine rollout, plans to procure vaccine, noting that the need is critical in the community.

Zoeller suggested referring the question to the Board of Health.

Councilor Greaney asked for a clarification of how much of the 400K is allocated for rolling out the vaccine.

Zoeller stated that determination to be with the Board of Health, noting they would be working with state and federal contacts.

Councilor Tallman asked for a list of public service agencies getting some of the money.

Zoeller: Stated that in the first round, recipients included the Stavros Center, Western Mass Elder Care, Holyoke Boys & Girls Club, and Providence Ministries. Also stated they have been communication to ensure rolling out with little obstacles and to assure as many families are being helped as possible.

Councilor Tallman noted he spoke with the board for the Boys & Girls Club, as well as Providence Ministries, observing that the help is vital.

Chairman Bartley asked for a communication.

Zoeller stated she could send a status report on expenditures.

Councilor Lisi clarified that ProudCity is the platform hosting the city’s website and that Whalley provides technical support.

Councilor Leahy stated his understanding that anyone with technical issues could reach out to person on call to get help. Asked about funds paid to Whalley.

Zoeller noted that her department doesn’t set up the contracts with Whalley.

Chairman Bartley clarified that the question had been about CDBG updating the website to provide information on how to apply for funds. Also asked if Whalley, the city’s technical consultant, had been utilized.

Councilor Leahy asked if the emailed documents provided breakdown of the funds.

Zoeller stated that the breakdowns were included, as well as the resolution asking City Council to accept the funding, as well as proposed amendment.

Councilor Leahy asked if it breaks down individually.,

Zoeller stated they had not, noting that the funds need to be accepted before they can become billable.

Councilor Leahy asked for a report of the first round.

Zoeller stated it was not available at the moment but could be provided.

Councilor Leahy stated difficulty with voting without knowing the breakdown of the first round.

Zoeller stated a report shows agency funding and expenditures.

Councilor Leahy stated he would like to know about all the agencies, noting a need for transparency.

Zoeller stated first round was on spreadsheet showing how much each activity was funded.

Councilor Leahy stated he would like more detail and asked about getting receipts showing where money went to.

Zoeller stated they operate on reimbursable basis, with documentation being submitted showing the purposes and recipients of funds.

Councilor Leahy stated he would like information for each segment broken down.

Chairman Bartley reiterated request to receive communication regarding the first round grantees and amounts.

Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve the funds. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

 

Councilor made a motion to take item 3 off the table and open the public hearing. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 3: PUBLIC HEARING 11/4/20 Special Permit Application of Jill LaBeau for a driveway at the front of the house, facing the house at 23 O’Connor Ave. (Map 074 Block 00 Parcel 024).

LaBeau: driveway is at back of house. Mother had to come live, sever COPD. Parking at back, go 4 flights of stairs. Looking to get driveway on O’Connor. 1 flight.

Chairman Bartley: summary, city ordinance says if driveway in front, have to come to council and ask for special permit. On top, have to do in public hearing.

Councilor Greaney: O’Connor Ave runs into Clinton. How does property be 4 flights on Clinton, 1 on O’Connor. Is house backed up to Clinton.

LaBeau: near s curve. Walkout basement. Once inside, 2 more flights.

Chairman Bartley: when would commence construction?

LaBeau: got estimate, would be sometime in summer when vendor can do it.

Chairman Bartley, they say how long it would last.

LaBeau: probably a day.

Chairman Bartley: instead of 4, 1?

LaBeau: 12 steps instead of 32.

Councilor Tallman close public hearing, second by Councilor Greaney. All in favor.

Councilor Tallman motion to grant, seconded by Councilor Sullivan, all in favor. 5-0

Chairman Bartley described process for full council approval.

 

Councilor Tallman made a motion to take item 4 off the table and open the public hearing. Councilor Lebron-Martinez seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 4: PUBLIC HEARING 12/15/20 Special Permit Application of Gina and Raquel Fasoli Figueroa for a painting business at 145 Mountain View Drive (Map 135 Block 00 Parcel 006).

Fasoli: just bought house in sept. started painting bus in 2014. Reason why started painting to help people. Would like to have business at home.

Chairman Bartley: clarified items in application, hours no deliveries,

Fasoli: basically, working from home with laptop, getting quotes.

Chairman Bartley: any need for sign?

Fasoli: no need for sign

Chairman Bartley: 8-5 seven days?

Fasoli: Monday-Saturday. Only open money through Saturday. \

Chairman Bartley: typically for hoe occupancy, we put on conditions. Suggested condition don’t allow deliveries, or a sign. Would be okay?

Fasoli: that would be fine.

Chairman Bartley: no issue with hours. Don’t need condition.

Councilor Greaney: will there be vehicles with signage?

Fasoli: have van that has magnet signs, says Indigo with number. Commercial van.

Councilor Greaney: what is size.

Fasoli: small business. Just do house painting van to carry materials.

Councilor Greaney company vehicle in residential neighborhood.

Chairman Bartley: to Councilor Greaney’s point. Where van be garaged or in driveway?

Fasoli: at moment, have a 2-car garage. Still not able to park inside, will park inside after moving everything in.

Chairman Bartley: in next 9 month, will be able to park inside?

Fasoli: confirmed.

Chairman Bartley accept condition, that we require van be parked indoors, between 5pm and 5am?

Fasoli: confirmed.

Chairman Bartley: noted residential neighborhood, more pleasing with van inside.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez: this is in house painting? Will you have ladders outside, where equipment/

Fasoli: van holds all inside.

Councilor McGiverin: noted seeing before. When you are done with job, what with unused paint?

Fasoli: if it is dry, can be received. Paint goes to customers.

Councilor McGiverin hoping that paint is bought, leave with person who paid?

Fasoli: try not to order too much, only have for touchups.

Councilor Mc: what kind of storage outside of van?

Fasoli: materials needed, like removing wallpaper, ladders, brushes.

Councilor McGiverin: where stored?

Fasoli: in basement.

Councilor McGiverin: asking for operating business, need tax ID. Need to make calls, operate business out of house. We can’t govern van. We have to pay attention to storage of materials. Should be no storage outside of garage or in designated spot in basement. For fairness of neighborhood. We don’t want o give permission for a van to be there that can’t be there.

Councilor Lisi: asked about van. In some ways, there are families who have vans. Doesn’t seem like intrusion, even with signage. Not like large truck with equipment. Whole operating out of vehicle. Don’t know if necessary, to regulate van, as, long as off street.

Councilor Tallman: believe applicant is in favor of condition. Understand try to keep invisible as possible. done these before. Think that would be something to think about.

Chairman Bartley: will there be issue with van in garage once moved in? don’t want it to be burden. When you have home occupation, try to make as subtle as possible.

Fasoli: would not be burden.

Chairman Bartley: just want to make sure issue is clear. Trying to respect abutters. Stated that he would address to chair, no back and forth conversation.

Dave Cavanaugh: appreciated addressing constraints. Only concern would be vehicle off street, storage issues. Wondered about employees parking on street.

Chairman Bartley: is there exterior, interior?

Fasoli: named website. Offer interior painting.

Chairman Bartley: number of employees?

Fasoli: just me.

Chairman Bartley: you contract, do the work, collect

Fasoli: we subcontract for big jobs.

Chairman Bartley: would other painted have to go to your home office?

Fasoli: everyone has their own car, nobody comes here.

Cavanaugh: how do you verify constraints?

Chairman Bartley: have a building commissioner. Permit issued, administered by building commissioner, or BOH. If there is complaint, suggest calling building commissioner, and BOH, with pictures suggested.

Matthew Donohue: welcomed to neighborhood support the project, subject to limitations.

Councilor McGiverin: would add permit is good for one year, second year can be reissued with no complaints without hearing. With complaints, can have hearing to revoke.

Chairman Bartley have many of these permits. Laid out usual process.

Councilor Tallman motion to close, seconded by Councilor Sullivan. All in favor.

Chairman Bartley: motion to grant, seconded by Councilor Tallman.

Chairman Bartley: Adding conditions: 1. No signage. 2. All materials stored indoors. 3. Van be garaged from 7pm-7am, daily, commencing 9 months from date of permit issue.  4. No deliveries.

Councilor Tallman: can we amend to 6 months? Second by Councilor Chairman Bartley: All in favor.

4 conditions.

All in favor.

Chairman Bartley: clarified recommendation to full council the next week.

 

Councilor Tallman made a motion to suspend the rules to take items 5a through 5b off the table as a package and continue the public hearing. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 5a: PUBLIC HEARING (Continuation from December 14, 2020) 11/17/20 Special Permit Application of The Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Inc. for a Drive-Thru Facility per section 7.1.6 of the Holyoke Zoning Ordinance at 500 Easthampton Rd. (Map 213 Block 00 Parcel 003).

Item 5b: 9-15-20 Letter from R. Levesque Associates requesting reinstatement and one year extension to approved special permit for Drive-Thru Facility at 500 Easthampton Road.

Item 5c: 500 Easthampton Traffic Analysis

Item 5d: 500 Easthampton Road Request for Continuance

Chairman Bartley: in attendance, Jessica Allan. Asked to identify yourself and company, address, tell us

Allan: permitting project manager with R, Levesque and Associates. Project update. Project was filed in 2018, permit expires in August 2020. Refiled new permit, new location, same use drive through, Delaney Market. Have 3 permits filed with city, special permit, site plan review, with additional permits req. price with commissioner. All being reviewed. Filed in November. Received comment from planning. City engineer. Have been working through comments. Great meeting with engineer and planning on Friday. Have some unresolved issues traffic, drainage, site plans. Hope to make sure safety concerns before we give full presentation. Would like continuance to work through issues to present what everyone will be happy with. We submitted handful of new items have response letter, responds to planner comment, engineer comments. Revised site plans, January 7. Have a technical memo from traffic control engineer, provided info observations. Also have revised architectural plans based on planning comments. Date January 8. Asked to continue to next meeting.

Councilor McGiverin: is this public hearing a continuation, or new?

Chairman Bartley: same with new things happening.

Councilor Greaney: motion to continue.

Councilor Tallman take 14 off the table, seconded by Councilor Lebron-Martinez. All in favor.

Item 14: Schedule next meeting. Potential dates: 2/22, 3/29, 4/26, 5/24, 6/14

Chairman Bartley: read 14, dates of potential next meetings. Does 2/22 work for others.

Other members confirmed it will work.

Motion to table.

Councilor Tallman: motion to continue public until February 22, at 630, Councilor Sullivan seconded. All in favor.

 

 

Councilor Tallman made a motion to suspend the rules to take items 6a and 6b off the table as a package. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 6a: 12-1-20 McGee – Ordered, Pursuant 301 CMR 51.07(1)(b), I, Todd McGee, Chairman of the City Council of the City of Holyoke, hereby agree to waive the 120 day notice period as required by said section as to a parcel of land of approximately 21.745 acres in the City of Holyoke, shown on Exhibit A attached hereto, in which the Department of Conservation and Recreation is considering acquiring an interest. Map-Lot 217-00-006

Item 6b: 12-1-20 Letter from Trustees of Reservations requesting support for waiver of 120 day notice period for DCR to acquire parcel.

Chairman Bartley: noted that in the time since. Read letter from marguerite Reynolds. Read quick claim deed, dated June 10, 2020. Recorded dec 30. Deed from B&G to Site reclamation, based in Springfield. Noted email sent to councilors in fall, landed on council agenda, tabled in council, on December 1st referred to committee. Don’t know when 120 notice period, don’t know when it ended. Reached out to site reclamation, representative is in attendance. Recommend suspending the rules, to allow Donohue to address.

Councilor Greaney: motion to suspend, Councilor Sullivan seconded. All in favor.

Councilor Tallman: brought up in dec 1 meeting. Jennifer Howard was there to speak. Observed that most didn’t allow to vote on that night. Now purchase is made. Possibly B&G could have gotten more money, property in hands of state DCR. Could have been better position to keep land in position for people in community for hiking recreation. Disappointed that we didn’t give waiver. Willing to hear Donohue.

Councilor McGiverin: on email received, did that come trough city clerk’s office? Things implying that things were done. We had more questions. Even with someone present procedures were not followed. We can receive info, to put in front of council, has to be filed with city clerk. For votes, for things that are important, should have been with well before December 1st. even email saying it sold should have been sent to clerk, not committee.

Chairman Bartley noted email from Marguerite was because invite was sent to DCR to address.

Chairman Bartley: tell us about project. We can proceed from there.

Donohue: with N&G, property was something we were interested in resulting from interest in quarry. Consultant told us about natural heritage. They IDed property as preferred target, give to DCR or trustees as a gift. Didn’t want to dispute if it was endangered species polygon. Reached out, IDed conflict. B&G identified conflict, appointed another rep about discussions. Entered purchase and sale agreement, meant to close, Peter Connor asked to put off, based on option in restrictive covenant. Option was expires.BG offered same parcel 4 or 5 times, each time they passed. Peter thought it was prudent again, offered under 18-day notice, express December 5th. In 180-day, period, DCR did no act. Stated a letter was sent to conservation that a letter was sent. Sought waiver without notice. Argument is that wouldn’t have met notice provisions. We had a contract once waiver wasn’t grated immediately. Reached out to DCR, they chose not to deal. Purchased property. Assure that matched and exceeded what DCR would have been able to pay. Still actively pursuing. Acquired. Planning solid project for city.

Chairman Bartley: stated appreciation for attendance. Have oct 30 email from marguerite. States stamp from clerk, provides 120 waiver statement. Don’t know when 120-day period started or when it ended. Reynolds does not clarify detail in communications.

Councilor Sullivan: noted 100K paid for it?

Donohue one thing BG asked was to do demo, mandated by city commissioners, after fires.

Councilor Sullivan: so DCR would not have included demo.

Donohue: we did demo.

Councilor Sullivan: did natural heritage stop demo?

Donohue: had to get their approval. Prevented from completed demo, due to concerns for endangered species that used concrete pads. Didn’t want it disturbed.

Councilor Sullivan: property is being gifted to DCR or trustees. How would group demo and then pay 100K, yet to gift it?

Donohue: for every acre of potential disturbing, have to give back. Wanted to meet standard. Suggested that this property should be target for acquisitions. DCR and natural heritage all under umbrella of EEA. Acquiring with intent of moving forward with quarry. 24.1 acres to DCR.

Councilor Sullivan by gifting, life natural heritage block on quarry. So, it will go to DCR anyway.

Donohoe: if it moved forward, roughly 40 acres transferred to DCR after quarry.

Councilor Sullivan; is state trying to take quarry?

Donohue: they expressed interest in acquiring quarry after not getting B&G. they IDed it in reports as a liability. there is a cliff face. It is unprotected, no way to protect it. It is insured as best as possible.

Councilor Sullivan: what are they worried about going into quarry.

Donohoe they won’t discuss. They won’t share it.

Councilor Tallman: that letter and one stated through city clerk, that was part of record, we can bring up at next full council meeting?

Chairman Bartley the email sent dated January 22, Jeff will forward to clerk as communication. Mail on oct 30th, including clerk, that is before us now.

Councilor Tallman: that did go through clerk? Wanted to make sure it went through clerk. Notice matt stated expires dec 5.

Chairman Bartley Donohue referenced a separate notice that expires dec 5th, 180 day.

Councilor Tallman: on this property, you acquired from B&G. how many acres,

Donohue 24.1

Councilor Tallman: that will be donated?

Donohue that is the intent, if the project goes forward at the quarry. According to natural heritage.

Councilor Tallman: buildings gone

Donohue: most are gone.

Councilor Tallman: appreciated getting this side of the story. Noted length of time this had been going on.

Councilor Lisi: how many acres is the quarry; how many acres is land at former BG

Donohoe: quarry is about 16 acres, additional 8 that surrounds, mostly upslope. BG is about 24.1 acres.

Councilor Sullivan: 24.745

Councilor Lisi: gifting quarry property, is that acquired BG so that to gift quarry property.

Donohue: acquired quarry property, did work to gift out what we would do. IDed quarry good locations. Meets criteria similar soils. Regulated, must be tested to be clean. Building a road, they dg up road, they would have to test soil. If it meets criteria of being clean. If it dirty, has to go elsewhere. We have a testing criteria. Quarry gets filled. If you are constrained by space and not a lot of land, dirt has to go somewhere. Me t with natural heritage told us to target G for acquisitions. As part of performance STANDARD.

Councilor Lisi: project wasn’t claiming but did so effectively. Noted loss of habitat that would have to be replaced?

Donohue: once they IDed property, we knew we could overperform on performance standard.

Councilor Lisi; noted clarity of information.

Councilor Greaney: guaranteeing no dirty soil in landfill.

Donohoe: has to get certified, If it comes in that doesn’t set standard, license gets pulled.

Councilor McGiverin: he realized that it was never formally replaced to city council. Concerned with procedure. Should have been directly sent to clerk.

Chairman Bartley: this will be tax paying entire should it go forward.

Councilor Lisi: noted this was an order, with suspension of rules? Suggested anyone else may want to speak.

Patrick Kennedy: partner in project. Principle in mt rom companies, site reclamation. Everything that Donohue has been on. On quarry project, they are measured. Quality is referred to RCS1 soils, confirmed as to quality, if in residential setting, they could be left in place. If today, could not happen without an appropriate reclamation plan in place.

Councilor Tallman: motion to table.

Chairman Bartley: you want to refer back? We have before us the question of waiving. 6B is letter form trustees.

Councilor Tallman: noted letter is moot because it was purchased.

Chairman Bartley noted it would be before us next Tuesday, according to the letter. Believe it is complied with, denied, refer back without recommendation.

Councilor Sullivan: if we receive other communication next week informing us its moot, make motion to refer back to committee without recommendation., seconded by Councilor Tallman. 4-1.

6B received and referred.

 

Councilor Tallman made a motion to take item 7 off the table. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 7: 12-15-20 Lisi, Leahy – Resolution related to GAH (Geriatric Authority of Holyoke) sale, amended to replace “Ware” with “Palmer.”

Councilor Lisi: noted body has had interest in fair labor practices. Important that community benefits from facilities, beds in Holyoke, at expense of other facilities closing, ensure equity in access, regardless of where they come from. Read resolution. States resolutions are nonbinding statements of values. Wanted to formalize, document sentiments.

Councilor Vacon: speak to jurisdiction of resolution. Can’t negotiate agreements, cannot impose anything on a private business. Think we should keep resolutions within arenas within reach. Would not support resolution.

Councilor Murphy: made points before. Recognize we want their business, think the thoughts of resolution, in support, healthcare needs to be regional. think in terms of employment unions, patients, families, think support not sure resolution would make a difference but it doesn’t hurt, appreciate ideals behind it.

Councilor Lisi: made points that understanding is not way to regulate. It is a symbolic gesture of the body. Goals, values, principles. Create a for people who do business in community.

Councilor McGiverin: understand nonbinding, intentions. Where is the resolution going? Don’t see the purpose. Sends right message at wrong time.

Councilor Tallman: motion to let public to speak, Councilor Lebron-Martinez seconded. All in favor.

Chairman Bartley: described rules for speaking.

Rudy Renaud: appreciate work. As former council president in Greenfield. Support of resolution. Scared about losing unit in Franklin county. Many utilizing it and will be at loss. Not easy to get to Holyoke using public transport. New unit will not be hospital, will not deal with comorbidities. Suggested passing resolution, send to Baystate.

Valerie Clark: 7support resolution. Peer support advocate in Springfield. Privately long-term psychiatric facility. Know that everyone in hospital setting has done much in pandemic. Wants best for workers, patients

Chairman Bartley: noted council does not negotiate, mayor negotiates. Time for input was to mayor and planning and economic director. Stated that Baystate seemed reasonable. Don’t like message sent by resolution. Appreciate intent but would not support. Clarified the motion would be to adopt.

Councilor Tallman: stated appreciation of intent. Believes they will be good partner. Against them closing facilities. Not sure we can make them have union. Recommend sending back without recommendation.

Councilor Lisi: would people support if they struck out the section on not closing the other facilities and leave the other statements of values in place?

Chairman Bartley: stated appreciation for offer. Not in position to speak about outside communities. Don’t want to be part of resolution that says something perceived to be contrary to Baystate. They are good corporate citizen.

Councilor Greaney: don’t know what their hiring policies are. Don’t know of any complaints. Don’t see purpose of resolution. Suggested referring back to committee without recommendation.

On vote to refer back to committee, 5-0.

 

Councilor Tallman made a motion to take item 8 off the table. Councilor Lebron-Martinez seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 8: 1-21-20 Greaney – Ordered, that the City Council be provided with a list of all non-profits including addresses and parties responsible for those sites, in the City of Holyoke.

Chairman Bartley asked if the list had been provided.

Admin Asst stated that he had not requested the list from the Assessor in enough time to allow the list to be put together.

Councilor Greaney: motion to table, seconded by Councilor Sullivan. All in favor.

 

Councilor Greaney clarified that he was only looking for properties in disrepair, not all non-profits.

 

Councilor Tallman made a motion to suspend the rules to take items 9a through 9c off the table as a package. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 9a: 12-1-20 Chairman Bartley – Ordered, The Law Department provide an update to the City Council on the City’s Receivership program. This is our semi-annual review.

Item 9b: 12-1-20 Documents highlighting Current Receiverships & Updates and Completed Receiverships

Item 9c: 12-1-20 Daily Hampshire Gazette article dated 11-19-20 titled “Problem Properties: Holyoke grapples with dozens of run-down and dangerous sites”

Chairman Bartley: give summary on receivership. Give us your highlights.

Barnes: last resort for code enforcement when people get violations from neighbors or one of us. Tarps, debris, or people haven’t seen neighbor. Abandoned. Sometimes bank owner or deceased. We find out who owner, what are the needs, can we help them. Reach out to other services. Have code enforcement team. FD, PD, start small, issue notices of violation, tickets if persisted. If they don’t respond, file in court. If still not responding, reach out for receiver. Contractors put in own funds. Looking for rental or flipping house. Spend own money, may get grants. Nothing comes form city other than time. They remedy violations. Sometimes full completion, sometimes auction, we discuss that with them. Sometimes someone else has funds to complete. 7 Russell, owner is an elderly woman, son couldn’t keep up, probably end up auction to finish project. Across from condos. Hoping that MLS will support

Chairman Bartley: noted work put in to address this kind of effort. Councilors and attorneys of real estate.

Barnes: 18 Center St. utilities were off for over a year, owner stayed in, nobody knew. Sewage was leaking through wall. Dogs were in property, hoarding situation. Had to take time, made sure people were put in good position, sold privately to help out of tax burden. Noted the importance of people learning about resources. 148 Hugh ST, mixed use. Over covers residential portion. Commercial part, common area, allowed to add in cost. Comm space, can only make safe. Noted outside work, fire codes not up. 174 Lyman, been trying to get in for a whole. Wil be big project, filed petition in 2019, just got rehab approved in November.

Chairman Bartley: noted person in house getting paid to leave house he hadn’t owned.

Barnes: 91 Elm completed, 311 Walnut. Instead of receivership, got for taxes. Receiver finished. Last resort. Have other ways of dealing.

Chairman Bartley noted 19 west Glen had been addressed with great success.

Barnes: noted larger efforts, communities working together.

Chairman Barley: noted councilors can reach out about these properties.

Barnes: get calls often, sometimes for wellness checks, r just driving and happening to notice. Not looking to get people help, not kick them out.

Councilor Sullivan: noted some concerns, worried about problem landlords. What about 74-76 Newton.

Chairman Barnes: held up by court. Got a new judge, extra point of view helps situation. Court doesn’t want to kick people out, often several chances. Do large buildings, aware of issue landlords.

Councilor Sullivan: how many times housing court for this location?

Barnes; Started February 2019, been in and out since. At least half a dozen, if not a dozen.

Councilor Sullivan: noted how troublesome these properties can be. Noted out of town landlord tying up city resources. Added 56-58 Suffolk. Open issues in housing court. Illegal apartments, barber shops, water issues. Been at court.

Barnes: at least a dozen. Technically it is commercial. Talked to CDBG to get outside council. Had recent inspection. Provide baseline for new council. Run into problem where owners aren’t cooperative. Still on radar.

Councilor Sullivan: part of problem, judge said illegal tenants, being there during day is not a violation.

Barnes: anyone running business, nothing can be said about office space. Hard to prove. Hopefully get through this year.

Councilor Sullivan: another out of town landlord. Noted waiting to hear from Velis, requiring out of town landlords of units, required rep or on-site manager. On 345 Dwight, what can be done? Haven’t done in 2 years, landlord from Ca.

Barnes: continuously get fined. They are producing revenue for city. Do vacant building charge. They keep paying. Struggling because they keep paying taxes, can’t do lien, they keep paying tickets.

Chairman Barley: is mayor or OPED involved?

Barnes: part of discussions. With CDBG outside council for code enforcement, help with more difficult to deal with. No easy way to address.

Councilor Sullivan: they have not paid 6682, along with vacant lien from 2020. New tax bill only lien 810. Not due yet. Do they have bank financing?

Barnes: talked with owner last year. Claimed he would run business, but that was denied.

Councilor Sullivan: 115-199 Cabot.

Barnes: people are aware, courts his standstill in March, backed up in cases. Usual progress stalled. Haven’t seen judge in year. Owner makes just enough progress takes ability for lien.

Councilor Sullivan: already been looked at and turned down by one receiver this is threat to public safety. Out of town landlord.

Barnes: has a couple properties were dealing with.

Councilor Sullivan: all three properties under different names LLC, same address in Southbridge. All three behind on taxes.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez: is 108 Cabot on list? That was brewery building. They were sent letter that city owns it,

Barnes; not on radar. Doesn’t mean inspectors aren’t on it. Asked for email. If not city owned, need to do work to deal with it.

Councilor Tallman: 9a complied with, b and c received, seconded by Councilor Lebron-Martinez. All in favor.

 

Councilor Tallman made a motion to take item 10 off the table. Councilor Lebron-Martinez seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 10: 12-15-20 McGiverin – Ordered, that the City Council’s DGR Committee work with the Planning Department and Mayoral designees to redraw the ward lines according to the new federal census.

Councilor McGiverin: agreed wit keeping on agendas. Reminder that this takes placed every 10 years. Slow because of Covid. Cities required to redraw ward lines according to population shifts. Try to make sure that wards are contiguous with people of similar concerns and similar situations. Jeff Burkott. Reached out to Marcos. Numbers were just coming in. key person would be Jeff Burkott. Believe that we should have input into redrawing to make sure voices are heard, and that constituents understand they may get bumped.

Councilor Vacon: chaired committee in last redrawing. Adopted a principle that we would change boundaries as little as possible in meeting requirements. In approach, worked out well. Small amount of disruption. Some streets in ward 5,one side of street is one ward and other side is another ward.

Chairman Bartley: noted Gordon Drive, right across from Donohue Street, but different ward.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez: live on Elm, neighbors across the street are ward 4. At time, mayor at time assigned aide to lead change. When looked at map, they took those properties and put in Ward 6. They had to walk much further to vote. Need to know neighborhoods and know concerns.

Councilor Tallman: motion to table, Councilor Lebron-Martinez seconded. All in favor.

 

Councilor Tallman made a motion to take item 11 , 12, and 13. off the table. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 11: Murphy, Anderson-Burgos, Lebron-Martinez, Lisi, McGee, Hernandez, Leahy, Tallman – Ordered, that the DGR committee meet with Holyoke Media to put together an action plan to televise city council meetings and sub-committee meetings translated into Spanish. The goal should be to televise within 48 hours of the actual meeting.

Item 12: 12-1-20 Murphy – Ordered, that the DGR committee meet with Holyoke Media, the mayor, the health director, and representatives from the Opioid Substance Abuse Task Force program, to present a five to ten minute video to be televised on Ch 15 on the importance of persons not contributing to panhandlers. The emphasis should be on the negative impact of doing so, in terms of panhandlers rejecting offers which could much more significantly improve the quality of their lives. Once the program is completed, it should be shown just prior to city council meetings on Ch 15.

Item 13: 12-1-20 Murphy, Lisi, Anderson-Burgos – Ordered, that the DGR committee meet with Holyoke Media about the possibility of having more programming on Ch 15. Is it possible to have some regular half hour programs which could both entertain and inform residents?

Allow Scott.

Councilor Murphy: get the city more aware of various issues. Hope would be that Scott could its possible, of not within 48 hours. Met with task force. Ned to be able to explain why we don’t want to give to panhandlers. Quality of life and health and community perspective. Try and figure out how to get word out to people. Thought program people s to get them to take services. Good portion don’t take them because they get money handed to them. Related to had people say can we put programming on. Would imagine it would be possible. We play meetings, some cases several weeks after. Interesting programming that could do interviews of city officials.

Scott MacPherson: regarding translation and interpretation. Councilor Murphy reached out. Doing after the fact would make longer process than simultaneously. Hardware costs. Manpower costs. Also made sure comcast would take signal flow. We can get hardware from comcast to carry. If someone is doing simultaneous translation, can run on secondary audio program, program remote to activate programs.

Chairman Bartley: what is cost, timetable.

MacPherson: costs could be 8500 in equipment, existing 1000, ongoing costs of interpretations. Ours is 50 an hour.

Councilor Murphy would have 2000 hours of meetings a year. That would immediately service to community. Cost could be total 20000, total hardware and integrations half and half. To make sure greater percentage of population can have input and grasp, would be great investment, long overdue. Hopes recommendations. Ask mayor to make appropriation.

Councilor Sullivan: how many hours of program would have to be translated.

Councilor Murphy: may have 15 hours this week.

Chairman Bartley 500-1000 a year.

Councilor Sullivan: 39K just for translation.

Councilor Greaney: is there any grant money available for this kind of project?

MacPherson: not familiar with what is out there.

Chairman Bartley: good point. There should be someone out there who could di it.

Councilor McGiverin: not first time we looked at this. Cost if often prohibitive. Holyoke Media does a great job, franchise fees hold be paying for this.

MacPherson: talking about hardware, could be. For access, that may not be.

Councilor Sullivan: what is your title?

Exec director

Councilor Sullivan: in charge of financial decisions?

MacPherson: yes

Councilor Sullivan: Iohann in charge of financial?

MacPherson: no.

Councilor Sullivan: is he in charge of content?

MacPherson: depending on interviews.

Councilor Murphy: did some math. If 20K can connect to more citizen to keep informed, believes it is good use of funds. Not doing I is keeping those people outside the system. Hope is that we will look at it, goal is something we should do. maybe we can use comm dev. Funds to pay for hardware.

Chairman Bartley: would recommend tabling to look into financial options.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez: noted similar order months ago, based on request from constituents. Not sure of order status. Know we are talking about money, population that is necessary for us to translate what is being said so we ask people to be involved, they understand what is happening. School department got sued for translation paperwork. Want to acknowledge order is needed. We see subtitled. Why can’t meetings be subtitled?

MacPherson: to do that, still need person entering info, still requires hardware through captioning channel.

Chairman Bartley: on money, ask the mayor for money. Send appropriation to council.

Councilor Vacon: for next meeting, we got statement from Holyoke Media, at time they had big cash balance, if we could become aware of resources to achieve some changes. Would be helpful.

Chairman Bartley can you send that comm

Councilor Murphy: will go to mayor to see what we can do. if we start with council meetings and not committee meetings at first, starts to get us there.

Chairman Bartley: noted some work will be done to investigate funding.

Councilor Tallman: motion to table, seconded by Councilor Sullivan. All in favor.

Councilor Tallman: motion to suspend to allow to address All in favor.

Councilor Murphy: filed with goal to inform public, make sure they’re aware that we can provide. Try to understand that right now we have difficulty getting people to accept services. Want to improve lives.

Chairman Bartley: noted Captain and Detective are here to help address.

Captain Moriarty: for past two years, saw increases in numbers. Under a grant, twice a week driving with counselors. Goal was to gather info, what they need, what could be offered. 98% of department crisis training class. Some successful cases. Went to find veterans. Part of problem is sense of freedom. Some enjoy where they are. They can do whatever they want. Services inhibit them. For vide series, Important that people know were involved in these kinds of things. 4 nights a week, officer with counselor doing follow ups.

Moriarty: in civilian clothing. Getting out of cruiser, starts negative contact, try to be subtle.

Chairman Bartley when we say well take videos, what does it look like?

Councilor Murphy: looking for 2 things. Going through experiences when they reach out, rationale for why failing to get people to accept services.

Detective Joseph Emiterio: goal is to place in detox. Provide with support and recover services, connect with BHN. Since May 2019, made close to 1000 connection in community. Helped over 200 people placed into services. Regarding panhandling, highlighting negative effects of providing open to that and outing out good things being done in city.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez: stated appreciation for the service. do you have number from outside versus who lives here?

Emiterio: don’t have numbers but from experience, estimate over 50% people outside the city. We respond to overdoses. A lot of word of mouth, families, and friends that call, people who see on us street and ask for assistance for someone. Wouldn’t turn anyone down who asks for help. Working to bridge gaps and become more approachable. If something outside what we do, we can refer to another agency. Have placed multiple indicial into detox multiple times. Will continue helping to get people what they need. Do have another grant for three years.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez: noted working with MassHire during day to help people get jobs.

Councilor Tallman: appreciates order. Part of problem, people give to panhandling they will keep going out there. Know there is need. Know there are people to help. Some can make 100-150 a day. Work is important. A couple people are from Vermont and came down here. We need to look at people as individuals. Do what we can to get them the help hey need. Some people get help and turn around lives.

Councilor Vacon: observed compelling message offered by officers, believed it would be well received by community, and noted that many likely do not know about it. Could educate people, but there is good program that does help.

Councilor McGiverin: sees this as part of community policing. Believe this video would be good. Asked about percentage that can’t be reached. Violating laws, when do we stop effort to get help, and recognize forced detox is only option.

Moriarty: do try to do as last resort looking for more outreach. When it comes to last resort, at end of day, police officers.

Emiterio: we do this on voluntary basis. When they’re ready, we provide them with the resources. Question is what point we approach people breaking laws. Good discussion for supervisors. Need to look at situations. Noted difference between someone on sidewalk versus someone on median.

Councilor McGiverin: asking about enforced detox. For ones not responding, at what point is arrest made and let court system take over to give them a choice. Some people need to be forced to make the choice.

Emiterio: some people need the “tough love” approach, and we must take next step for a judge to order treatment. Another grant will start soon to address those issues looking forward to integrating that into system.

Chairman Bartley: looking to hear about logistics and cost.

MacPherson: get email chain going, suggested having a detectives and reps from PD with council to ask questions about programs, remotely if necessary, can use it as forum to get issues out.

Councilor Sullivan: on section 35, are taking it easy on judges. Observed issues with judges may not be acting, or when action is taken, people ending up in same place. Public needs to address issue with judges. Noted meals on Thanksgiving left for panhandlers that were left as trash, important to show public that there are better places for charity, namely agencies that provide service. its too easy to not accept services.

Councilor Lebron-Martinez: suggested need to talk to kids on school to prevent issues. Educational support to schools.

Councilor McGiverin: section 35, civil commitment. Have to prove person cannot handle themselves and no road to harm themselves.

Councilor Sullivan: think we need more backup from normal watch what goes on with panhandlers. Notice an exchange, not just someone donating.

Chairman Bartley asked for how to handle order.

Councilor Murphy: would try to put group together. We need to get word out. Good idea to have mayor and health director. Veterans services. Emphasis what they’re doing. Potential services. Disincentive to insensitive to services, improve quality of life.

Chairman Bartley: noted topics for many videos could be had from meeting. Who do we refer to?

Emiterio: Holyoke police community center, race St. many services.

Councilor Tallman: complied with, Councilor Lebron-Martinez seconded. All in favor.

Councilor Murphy: noted talking to people about how to get more programming, rather than scrolling when not having programming. Cold be informative and entertaining. Sometimes there are kids doing plays or athletics.

MacPherson: would say that much is local meetings to make sure public access is covered. World love to get councilors on more often. Interviews or more formatted things. Interviews with departments. Also, noted ability to appoint someone to board of directors.

Councilor Murphy: will reach out to scoot and it has been complied. Should try to work with scoot to develop programming that would try to do various things, councilors, department heads, events.

Jennifer M: need to be replied to for making content.

Councilor Sullivan: when they refer to social media refer to councilor as a person uses entitlement to determine what is right or wrong based on assumptions privilege.

Chairman Bartley: noted Councilor Murphy would take on.

Councilor Tallman: complied with, Councilor Lebron-Martinez seconded. All in favor.

Councilor Tallman adjourn, seconded by Chairman Bartley. all in favor.

Adjourned at 11:03pm.


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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