Development & Governmental Relations Committee Meeting March 23, 2022
6:30 pm City Hall Holyoke
536 Dwight St, Holyoke 01040
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 the committee on
Development and Governmental Relations (DGR)
Wednesday March 23, 2022
Meeting to take place at
Holyoke City Hall, 536 Dwight St
and can be accessed remotely on Zoom Meetings
Per order of the Chair: Tessa Murphy-Romboletti
Remote access via www.zoom.us
Meeting ID: 824 9319 6846 Meeting Passcode: 831402 or by call in at 1 (646) 558-8656 with the same Meeting ID and Passcode.
Item 1: 2-1-22 MURPHY-ROMBOLETTI — Ordered that the D&GR Committee invite Lynn Gray, new General Manager of the Holyoke Mall, to allow for an introduction to the Holyoke City Council.
Item 2: 2-1-22 City council invite Sarah Greenleaf, Urban Forester, of DCR’s Urban & Community Forestry, to a future DGR meeting to discuss DCR’s ongoing free tree-planting program for Holyoke. DCR staff and its volunteers have planted hundreds of trees in designated areas of the city. Sarah and DCR have planted trees on both public and private property and are looking to plant more in 2022. Refer to DGR. Copy to Conservation.
Item 3: 3-15-22 MURPHY-ROMBOLETTI — That the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. ch. 30B and the Holyoke Procurement Ordinance, vote that the City of Holyoke accept the proposal and sell 144 High Street for $5,000 to Carlos Peña and Katy Moonan of Paper City Clothing Company. The property is described in the Holyoke Assessor’s Records as Map 013, Block 02, Parcel 004, consisting of an approximate 5,460 square foot building on 3,354 square feet of land. The property is zoned as Downtown Business (BC) with an assessed value of $88,100.
The following items are on the agenda for the purposes of disposal. Discussion is not expected.
Item 4: 3-3-15 MCGEE — WHERESAS, on October 16, 1991, the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke entered into a 99 year lease with the Holyoke Housing Authority for a portion of the property located at 45 Holy Family Road (Assessor’s Property Id # 117-00-018);
And WHEREAS, the Holyoke Housing Authority obtained monies from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (formerly Executive Office of Community Development) to construct a Congregate Living residential units (property address of 43 Lower Westfield Road) for elderly and disabled individuals of low income pursuant to M.G.L. c. 121B Section 39 and 40 and consisting of 20 units (c. 667);
And WHEREAS, said building has been maintained and operated by the Holyoke Housing Authority and said Housing Authority has paid all electrical, gas, water, sewer and related municipal expenses related to the operation of said building;
In accordance with Section 8(c)(1) of Chapter 1097 of the Acts of 1973, the lease between the Geriatric Authority and Holyoke Housing Authority required approval by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Alderman (City Council). On October 15, 1991, the Board of Alderman voted to approve the lease by a vote of 13-0 (with one absent and one vacancy). A copy of the lease and vote is attached.
And WHEREAS on January 26, 2015 the City of Holyoke obtained said parcel #117-00-018 in its entirety through a tax taking;
And WHEREAS, the Holyoke Housing Authority desires to own said parcel that the Raymond P. Murphy Congregate House is located – see attached plan
Now Therefore, it is requested that:
1. The Holyoke Housing Authority procure and hire a surveyor to complete an Approval Not Required Plan to subdivide the land that said Congregate Building from the remaining property as shown on plan attached;
2. That the City Council declare that portion of said parcel #117-00-018 that said Congregate House is placed on surplus;
3. That the City of Holyoke convey to the Holyoke Housing Authority said parcel for $1.00
Item 5: 3-3-15 MCGEE, BRESNAHAN, SOTO, TALLMAN — Ordered, that in accordance with M.G.L. ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, the City Council vote to declare two parcels formerly owned by the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke as surplus property available for disposition. Said parcels are described as follows: parcel 117-00-018 located at 45 Holy Family Road consists of approximately 8.684 acres more or less with a nursing home building, is zoned RO and was previously assessed at $7,046,200.00; parcel 117-00-0145 located at Lower Westfield Road consists of approximately 9.530 acres more or less of vacant land, is zoned RO and was previously assessed at $326,000.00. The parcels are more particularly described in deeds recorded at the Hampden County Registry of Deeds in Book 20577, Page 189 and Book 16921, Page 558.
Item 6: 8-2-16 Petition of Verizon New England , Inc. to place one pole on the northerly side of Harvard St. at a point approximately one hundred seventy-three (173) feet Easterly from the center line of Pleasant St.
Item 7: VACON — 11-7-16 That the paper street adjacent to 72 Mueller Rd (parcel ID 182-00-032) and Rear County Road (parcel ID 182-00-035) be declared surplus and made available for sale.
Item 8: 12-6-16 VALENTIN, LEBRON-MARTINEZ, LISI, LOPEZ, MCGEE, ROMAN, TALLMAN — The City Council adopt a resolution affirming the City of Holyoke’s commitment to being a safe and accepting community. That a copy of this resolution be provided to Senator Humason, State Representative Vega, and Governor Baker. Proposed resolution wording is included within.
RESOLUTION DECLARING HOLYOKE’S COMMITMENT TO BEING A SAFE AND ACCEPTING COMMUNITY
WHEREAS, the Holyoke City Council has asserted that the City of Holyoke does not tolerate hate crimes and other expressions of hate, such as in its April 2016 Resolution “Affirming the City of Holyoke’s Commitment to Civil Rights and Ensuring Equity for All People in Holyoke and Beyond”; this April 2016 Resolution included language such as: “Basic concepts of human and civil rights dictate that discrimination based on gender identity and/or sexual orientation is inherently wrong; and “The City of Holyoke acknowledges, respects, and values the diversity of its community”; and
WHEREAS, the Holyoke City Council believes in the rights of all people to lead lives of peace and dignity free from fear, harassment, and violence; and
WHEREAS, the Holyoke City Council is adamantly committed to protecting this community’s residents from racist, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, anti-immigrant, and anti-refugee sentiments and acts and all other targeting of residents based on their identities or perceived identities; and WHEREAS, the Holyoke City Council stands in strong opposition to the authoritarianism, policies, and rhetoric that engender hatred; and
WHEREAS, the City of Holyoke supports respect for civil and human rights and recognizes that pursuant to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948, Article 3, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” and Article 5, “No one shall be subjected to…degrading treatment;”
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of Holyoke, Massachusetts redoubles its commitment to the values of freedom, justice, and equality that bind us as a community, and to protecting those whose security and well-being may be threatened in the current political and social climate.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we stand in solidarity with, and advocate for the civil liberties and human rights of, every resident of Holyoke regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual and gender identity, national origin, or citizenship and immigration status.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we recommit to working towards a community, country, and world that are non-discriminatory, welcoming, just, inclusive, and pluralistic.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we vehemently condemn acts of vandalism, harassment, and violence that express hatred towards members of our community and beyond;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of Holyoke is a hate-free zone in which hate crimes and discriminatory actions will not be tolerated.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call upon all members of our community to engage in positive community-building and take the necessary and courageous steps to prevent and respond to discrimination and hatred whenever and wherever they see it. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we are committed to holding our state and federal leaders accountable to the values and commitments expressed in this resolution.
Item 8: 5-2-17 LOPEZ — Ordered, that the City Council convey parcel # 117-00-148 (1.350 acres) to Holyoke Housing Authority for $1.00.
Item 9: 6-20-17 ROMAN, BARTLEY — that Neighbor to Neighbor Holyoke its staff and membership be invited to the Development and Government Relations Committee to discuss their organization and the work that they do, including their areas of priority/focus.
Item 10: 9-5-17 BARTLEY, BRESNAHAN, GREANEY, LEAHY, LOPEZ, ROMAN, SULLIVAN, VACON — Be it Resolved for All Time that Holyoke is a welcoming community and we, the City Council, do hereby recognize, support and cherish all of Our City’s citizens, businesses, government employees and visitors.
Item 11: 11-21-17 Petition of Carmen Rivera for a new special permit for a home occupation at 170 Oak St. for a towing business.
Item 12: 1-16-18 VACON — that the two, two acre parcels on Mountain Rd adjacent to the conservation area be placed into the conservation area. (across from 315 Mt. Rd in front of the old shooting range).
Item 13: 4-3-18 ANDERSON-BURGOS — Ordered, that That MassDot come into DG&R Committee to discuss what traffic options can be done with regards to Dillon Ave, Dwight St. and Northampton St.
Item 14: 4-3-18 BARTLEY — The management of Wistariahurst provide to the City Council a report documenting the $250,000.00 grant it received (circa 2010). The grant was referenced in a letter from DLS dated 3/19/18 and the deficiency from the grants ($124,921.00) was discussed in City Council 3/20/18 and paid for by city taxpayers to balance the FY18 budget. Provide a narrative of the source of the funds, what they were used for, and how the fund had a deficiency. Please provide prior to the city council’s budget review time.
Item 15: 6-28-18 BARTLEY — that in accordance with M.G.L. ch30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, the City Council consider declaring a portion of parcel on Easthampton Rd. as surplus property available for disposition subject to certain reuse restrictions. This parcel is shown as “Proposed Parking Lot Easement” measuring approximately 0.70 acres on the “Easement Plan” dated June 6, 2018 and prepared by R. Levesque Associates, Inc. attached hereto. The parcel is a portion of premises identified by the Holyoke Board of Assessors records as Map 212, Block 00, Parcel 001 and more particularly described at the Hampden County Registry of Deeds in Book 16740, page 126.
Item 16: 4-2-19 Petition for Joint or Identical Pole Location Verizon New England, Inc. and Holyoke Gas & Electric Department, request permission to locate poles, wires, cables and fixtures, including the necessary anchors, guys and other such sustaining and protecting fixtures to be owned and used in common by your petitioners, along and across the following public way or ways:
Northampton Street: Relocate one (1) jointly owned pole numbered T.287/E.244 to a point on the easterly side of Northampton Street approximately one hundred seventy-two (172) feet southerly from the center line of Shawmut Avenue.
Reason: Relocate one (1) jointly owned pole on Northampton Street to accommodate and electric company upgrade; and to provide for the distribution of intelligence and telecommunications and for the transmission of high and low voltage electric current.
Item 17: 4-16-19 VACON — that the City Council adopt a resolution opposing HB 3320 and SB 1209 also referred to as the Roe Bill and send it to our State Representative and Senator.
These bills expand MA abortion laws beyond Roe v Wade; allow for late term abortions, eliminate parental consent for minors and allow a baby born alive to be denied medical care, as some of the proposed changes.
Item 18: 5-21-19 LEAHY, MURPHY — that a representative from Roca come before the Public Service subcommittee. We are looking for a overview of their services and the great work they are doing for the Cities Department of Public Works.
Item 19: 9-3-19 MURPHY — that the directors of community development, the office of planning and development, the Holyoke Housing authority meet with the DG&R committee to discuss the potential usage of HUD Section 108 funds to accelerate the redevelopment of the many city owned vacant lots within the city.
Item 20: 10-15-19 BARTLEY — The Mayor or the Law Department or anyone with knowledge of the two Casey contracts please advise City Council as to who drafted the two contracts between the City of Holyoke and Rory Casey as it was disclosed by the city’s law department at Ordinance meeting on 10/8/19 that it did not draft the city contracts signed by the Mayor and Mr. Casey.
Item 21: 10-15-19 BARTLEY — City Council receive a communication regarding the Casey contract with an effective date of March 22, 2019, from city Auditor/Treasurer. The communication should include all invoices and payment copies relative to this contract. Please specify the accounts in the budget from which funds were paid. Further, the City Auditor or any relevant official shall provide all reports produced as a result of this contract. Finally, the City Auditor or any relevant official shall provide documentation of what was delivered to the City by Mr. Casey for the $2,000.00 contracted amount. Please provide these to city council by the first regular city council meeting in November 2019.
Item 22: 10-15-19 BARTLEY — City Council receive a communication regarding the Casey contract with effective dates of November 19, 2018 to June 30, 2019, from city Auditor/Treasurer. The communication should include all invoices and payment copies. Please specify the accounts in the budget from which funds were paid. Further, the City Auditor or any relevant official shall provide all reports produced as a result of this contract. Finally, the City Auditor or any relevant official shall provide documentation of what was delivered to the City by Mr. Casey for the $9,999.00 contracted amount. Please provide these to city council by the first regular city council meeting in November 2019.
Item 23: 12-17-19 MURPHY — that the DG&R committee meet with the superintendent of the DPW to develop a specific planned schedule for snow removal on the sidewalks adjacent to all of the canals within the city. The goal is to make certain that the length of time persons would need to walk in the road is as minimal as possible.
Item 24: 12-1-20 BARTLEY, VACON — Ordered, that in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, the City Council declare the Old Rock Valley Road parcel identified by the Holyoke Board of Assessors records as Map 183, Block 00, Parcel 006 as surplus property available for disposition. Said parcel is a vacant lot approximately 4 acres in size. The property is described by the Hampden County Registry of Deeds in Book 1828, Page 162. The property was awarded to the City via a Land Court Decree with a Final Judgment recorded on September 30, 2015 in Hampden County Registry of Deeds Book 20894, Page 42. The property is zoned Agriculture and Single-Family Residence (RA).
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.
536 Dwight St, Room 10
Holyoke, MA 01040
Meeting days 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM