City Hall is currently closed for walk-in service. For more information on ongoing city services, please click here.
For the latest information about the ongoing COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, click here to visit our dedicated page.

Holyoke City Council Meeting December 15, 2020

Dec 15 2020

7:00 pm Remote by Zoom

,

Topic: City Council 12/15/20
Time: Dec 15, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85671591211?pwd=ZjNETWY1N1YwQU5IWE5FSVloU2l3Zz09

Meeting ID: 856 7159 1211
Passcode: 189520
One tap mobile
+19292056099,,85671591211#,,,,,,0#,,189520# US (New York)
+13017158592,,85671591211#,,,,,,0#,,189520# US (Washington D.C)

Dial by your location
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
Meeting ID: 856 7159 1211
Passcode: 189520
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/keJo889WZl

AGENDA FOR THE CITY COUNCIL
December 15,2020

LAID ON THE TABLE

1. an order that a City Council rule be added that City Council committees assigned in the prior term remain in effect for re-elected Councilors until the President-elect assigns new committees.

2. From Brenna Murphy McGee, minutes from the November 4 and 17th meeting.

3. an order that the bonding for the 10 priority intersections and funding for the traffic light installations be reviewed in Finance Committee

4. an order that a handicap space be placed in front of 420B Dwight St (Canal Place).

 

5. Mayoral appointment of Rosanna Lopez as a Commissioner of the Planning Board

6. an order an order that a handicap sign be placed at 254 Walnut St .

7. an order that a handicap sign be placed at 77 Pine St.

8. an order  that a handicap sign be placed at 116 Pearl St.

9. an order that a handicap sign be placed at 7 Vernon St.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

 

COMMUNICATIONS

10. From Mayor Alex B, Morse letter appointing Ms. Joan Plummer, 7 Radcliffe St. and Mr. Jason Lefebvre, 113 Nonotuck St. to serve as members on the Library Board of Directors for the City of Holyoke: Ms. Plummer will replace Ms. Danielle E. Brown and will serve a two year term; said tern will expire in February 2022. Mr. Jason Lefebvre will replace Mr. Bellamy Schmidt and will serve a three year term; said term will expire February 2023.

11. From Crystal Barnes, Acting City Solicitor re: Subcommittee Assignments.

12. From Crystal Barnes, Acting City Solicitor, opinion re: Public Hearing Notice Requirements.

13. From Tanya Wdowiak, City Auditor Fy2021 Pilot Payments to October 30, 2020.

14. From Scott MacPherson, Executive Director, Holyoke Community Media, Inc. Re: Holyoke Media Annual Report, Independent Auditor's Report Year ended December 31, 2019, Holyoke Media Budget 2019, Budget 2019 reconciliation, 2020 Budget.

15. Communication from Department of Revenue re: Holyoke Tax Rate.

16. From Board of Fire Commission minutes of October 15, 2020.

PETITIONS

17. Petition of Gina and Raquel Fasoli Figueroa for a special permit for a home occupation at 145 Mountain View Dr. for a Painting Business.

PRESIDENT'S REPORT

 

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

18. Ordinance Committee Reports (if any)

19. Finance Committee Reports (if any)

19A. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order for a Secondhand License Application for Sidikson Mamadjonov at 50 Holyoke St. Recommended that the license be approved.

19B. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2021, FIVE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED TWO AND 00/100 ($5,102.00) as follows:
FROM:
11462-53010               TAX TITLE CERTIFICATION                    $5,102.00
TOTAL:          $5,102.00
TO:
11461-51500               PAY-VACATION BUYBACK                     $5,102.00
TOTAL           $5,102.00 Recommended that the transfer be approved.

19C. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that the City Council and any other city department look into minimizing ‘legal notice advertising costs.’ There are now three newspapers covering Holyoke and each provides legal ads. Please refer to the Administrative Assistant who shall report back to the Finance Committee with a report compared ad rates and other relevant factors. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

19D. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that the City Council refer to the Law Department a question asking whether a petitioner to the City Council requiring a public hearing (be it a business, an individual, a public or private corporation, and/or any petitioning entity) is compelled to provide public notice via a newspaper of record or whether the City Council can petition the State Legislature under a Home Rule Petition to waive any state law requiring public notices be placed in a local newspaper so long as the City Council (and any other city department) publicly provides notice on the website of the City of Holyoke. Background: this matter was recently raised because of the issue of costs to the public to comply may be prohibitive. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

19E. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred Letter from Crystal Barnes regarding overtime pay during City Hall closures. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20. Public Safety Committee Reports (if any)

20A. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order Follow up questions from constituent Kocayne Givner regarding CC meeting 4/21/20 in which O’Connor Street was discussed and a traffic study is in order: “Lawler St has speed bumps. Would this be an option for O’Connor Ave in order to deter through traffic and speeding? Are there plans to continue single lane traffic with bike land and parking on both sides of the street? Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20B. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order requesting to have Board of Health present a follow up discussion on the trash issue that occurred at 182 Oak St back in August 26 2020 when two private landlords were in disagreement of who’s trash it was, and refused to pick up, therefore causing a huge mess, nuisance to surrounding neighbors and overall population of this great city. Specifically would like to learn as to what ultimatum has been given to these property owners, fee that the city incurred for finalizing the task. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20C. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that a Study be done at the intersection of W Franklin and Linden St to see what can be done to improve safety. It’s a dangerous intersection where multiple accidents have occurred on many occasions. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20D. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that a traffic mirror be placed on a pole near 397 Mountain Road so the resident can see approaching traffic when exiting their driveway. The resident reports near misses due to limited line of sight and drivers traveling above the speed limit. Additionally, that mirrors be considered at the intersection of Westfield Road and Hitchcock Street to provide more visibility for traffic turning onto Westfield Road. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20E. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that our current illegal dumping ordinances be reviewed to determine ways in which the city can enforce them with more success. In addition, that the possibility of installing video cameras in alley “hot spots” is explored as a way to curb illegal dumping. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20F. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that the city engineer evaluate the area of Lower Westfield Road near the small bridge and make recommendations to improve safety for residents walking in that area. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20G. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that the legal dept, police chief, fire chief, board of health, and state officials be invited to public safety committee to discuss and implement a plan or procedure to deal with negligent landlords in the city. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20H. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order the Apremont/Rock Valley intersection remains problematic with near misses reported. A stop sign at Apremont takes a right turn up the hill has been requested. It was found not to be proper, but the sign that is there on Apremont is confusing to drivers as to which road has the right of way if a driver proceeding from Apremont on to Rock Valley Road. Another request is to make the intersection a T so traffic would need to stop from three directions. Refer to public safety and our engineer. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

21. Public Service Committee Reports (if any)

22. Development and Governmental Relations Committee Reports (if any)

22A. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred an order that the City Council approve the Resolution for the Certified Housing Development Incentive Program Project and local Tax Increment Exemption (TIE) Agreement with Hotel Jess, LLC for the redevelopment of 319-335 Main Street, Board of Assessors Map 033, Block 04, Parcels 002, 003, and 004 (known as “Hotel Jess”). (see attached resolution) Recommended that the order be approved.

22B. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred an order that the City Council approve the Resolution for the Certified Project and the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Agreement with Hotel Jess, LLC for the redevelopment at 319-335 Main Street, Board of Assessors Map 033, Block 04, Parcels 002, 003, and 004. (see attached resolution) Recommended that the order be approved.

22C. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred an order that the Honorable Holyoke City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. c 30B and the Holyoke Procurement Ordinance, vote to accept the offer from the Baystate Health / Kindred Healthcare partnership purchase the land and building located at 45 Lower Westfield Road for $250,000.00. The property is identified by Holyoke Assessors as Map 117, Block 00, Parcel 018 and is zoned Multifamily residence and professional office (RO). Recommended that the offer be accepted.

22D. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred Order that the Honorable City Council accept the amendments to the Holyoke Redevelopment Authority’s Urban Renewal Plan, entitled “Connect. Construct. Plan.: A Plan for the Revitalization of Center City Holyoke” as presented. The City Council also authorizes the HRA to approve minor, non-substantial language changes to the urban renewal plan amendments, if such changes are recommended by the Department of Housing and Community Development, such as clarification of actions mentioned throughout the plan, defining of terms, and amending grammar. Recommended that the amendments be accepted

22E. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred ordered that the honorable Holyoke City Council approve a grant in the amount of $175,000 to Kestral Land Trust. Said grant is for Open Space and will be used to fund the acquisition of ~14 acres of land abutting Scott Tower.  This will be a key component in leveraging a $435,400 Phase 1 project.
Voted on by CPAC 7 Yeas - 0 no - 2 absent Recommended approval of the grant.

22F. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred Special Permit Application of Eric Taub for construction of a new duplex at 102 Beech St. Holyoke MA (Map 062 Block 02 Parcel 015). 5 Recommended that the special permit be approved with the following conditions: 1. that the permit only applies to the current owner; 2. that the project must be commenced within two years of the permit being issued; 3. that there be four off-street parking spaces; 4. that the terms of the Building Commissioner's letter, dated November 30th, 2020, are fully implemented.

22G. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred Special Permit Application of Jahjan LLC for Motor Vehicle Service Station Rebuild (Add 3rd pump) at 679-689 Main St. and 0 Beaulieu St. (Map 55 Block 0 Parcels 9, 9.1, and 9.2). Recommended that the special permit be approved with the following condition: that if there is a third pump added, it would be mandated to be to the north of the current pumps.

22H. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred an order that the honorable Holyoke City Council approve a grant in the amount of $250,000 to Wayfinders. Said grant is for Housing and will be matched by CDBG in order to access a 16.4 million dollar state grant. Voted on by CPAC  5 Yeas - 1 No - 1 Abstain - 2 Absent Awaiting disposition

22I. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred CPA FY21 Project Funding Recommendation. Awaiting disposition

22J. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred Legal Department opinion regarding a section of the OML complaint filed by James Fitzgerald Awaiting disposition

22K. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred Open Meeting Law Complaint from James Fitzgerald Awaiting disposition

22L. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred 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). Awaiting disposition

22M. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred Special Permit Application of Valley Opportunity Council Inc. for an extension of pre-existing nonconforming structure at 348 Chestnut St/48-52 Franklin St. (Map 009 Block 06 Parcel 005). Awaiting disposition

22N. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred Special Permit Applications of Holyoke Landing LLC for a Drive-Thru Facility (Fast Casual Restaurant/Fast-Food 7.1.6) and a Drive-Thru Facility (Bank – Drive-Up Teller/ATM 7.1.6) at Lower Westfield Rd. (Map 117 Block 00 Parcel 005). Awaiting disposition

23. Charter and Rules Committee Reports (if any)

24. Joint City Council and School Committee Reports (if any)

MOTIONS, ORDERS AND RESOLUTIONS

25. ANDERSON-BURGOS -- Ordered, that the manhole cover over the sewer drain in front of 203 West Franklin St be replaced. The resident at this location as well as others in the area have reported that it appears to be damaged and degrading. They have also reported that the damage to it causes drainage issues, resulting in excess water on the sidewalk and onto the property during heavy rain.

26. BARTLEY -- The DPW, Suez and City Engineer develop a plan to regrade the top of West Glen Street. Due to the current grading, water is not flowing to the catch basins resulting in dangerous road conditions.  Once a plan is developed, please consult with the Mayor and City Council to implement financing.  The departments in this Order and the residents in that area (including the south end of Martin St) are aware of the needs.  Refer to Public Safety and to Finance.

27. LEBRON-MARTINEZ -- That a handicap sign be placed in front of 77 Elm St. for Melissa Smith.

28. MCGEE -- Ordered, that the City Council set the minimum residential factor for FY 2021.

29. MCGIVERIN -- that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2021, TWO THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED SIXTY AND 28/100 Dollars ($2,760.28) as follows:

FROM:
11412-53190 EDUCATION & TRAINING $1,000.00
11412-53430 ADVERTISING 200.00
11412-53010 PROFESSIONAL ASSESSMENT 500.00
11412-54200 OFFICE & PROFESSIONAL SUPPLIES 1,060.28
TOTAL: $2,760.28
TO:
11411-51500 VACATION BUYBACK $2,760.28
TOTAL: $2,760.28

30. MCGIVERIN -- that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2021, THIRTEEN THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED SIXTY FOUR AND 08/100 Dollars ($13,864.08) as follows:

FROM:
12201-51105 FIREFIGHTER $8,570.14
12201-51104 LIEUTENANT 5,293.94
TOTAL: $13,864.08
TO:
12201-51180 INJURED ON DUTY $13,864.08
TOTAL: $13,864.08

31. MCGIVERIN -- 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.

32. MCGIVERIN -- that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2021, TEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED EIGHT DOLLARS AND 74/100 Dollars ($10,508.74) as follows:

FROM:
12101-51105 SERGEANTS $6,591.96
12101-51107 PATROLMEN 3,916.78
TOTAL: $10,508.74
TO:
12101-51180 INJURED ON DUTY $10,508.74
TOTAL: $10,508.74

33. MCGIVERIN -- that in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 44 Sec. 53A, the City Council hereby accepts the provisions of the "FY2021 MUNICIPAL ROAD SAFETY PROGRAM " grant and authorizes the establishment of a Fund or other method appropriate for the accounting of the receipts and expenditures of all resources associated with the administration of said grant.

34. MCGIVERIN -- that in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 44 Sec. 53A, the City Council hereby accepts the provisions of the "FY2021 EDWARD BYRNE MEMORIAL JUSTICE ASSISTANCE (JAG)" grant and authorizes the establishment of a Fund or other method appropriate for the accounting of the receipts and expenditures of all resources associated with the administration of said grant.

35. MURPHY -- Ordered that the mayor and the receiver meet with the finance committee to update the city council on the potential of receiving MSBA approval for building one new middle school with MSBA assistance.  Please provide any update on when the city might know the status of the proposal, and the financial implications of any approval.

36. MURPHY -- Ordered that the DPW paint traffic lines dividing the two southerly lanes on Main Street from Jackson Street to the 391 traffic light.

37. MURPHY -- Ordered that the receiver appear before the joint committee to discuss concerns about students potentially falling behind grade level, and plans being designed to address that once students are fully back into the classroom.  Is there a potential, especially in the crucial early grade levels, that students might need to stay within their current grade or receive extensive additional instruction in order to catch up to grade level?  What impacts might this have on classroom size, the need for additional teachers, and funding?

38. MURPHY -- Ordered that the police and fire chiefs appear before the finance committee to document how much of the police overtime total of $266,682 expended through the end of October was to cover for vacations, sick time and injured on duty status.  The same information is requested for the fire department and the expenditure of $157,305 through October.  In both cases, how many persons per shift being absent leads to the use of overtime?  The goal of this order is to determine if we are at our most cost effective staffing levels without jeopardizing public safety.

39. MURPHY -- Ordered that the HG&E examine the possibility of putting lighting which would shine into the alleyway between High and Maple Streets, one from Sargeant Street and one from Hampshire Street.  If that is possible to do without causing lighting to shine into apartments or homes, then please install at earliest convenience.  The alleyway has had serious concerns with trash dumping and drug usage.

40. MURPHY -- Ordered that the mayor and the health director appear before that public safety committee to provide an update on the potential for the city to establish a homeless shelter, potentially at the War Memorial Building.

 

 

Addendum:
The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the chair which may be discussed at the meeting.
Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law

______________________________
City Clerk

REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL
December 15,2020

The meeting was called to order by President McGee at 07:04 PM.

The Clerk called the roll. Absent members: 0 Present Members 13 (Anderson-Burgos, Bartley, Greaney, Hernandez, Leahy, Lebron-Martinez, Lisi, McGee, McGiverin, Murphy, Sullivan, Tallman, Vacon)
Hernandez and Vacon arrived 2 minutes later. Lebron-Martinez arrived at 7:12pm..

The name of Councilor Anderson-Burgos was drawn to head the roll call voting.

President McGee: mentioned that there were several late files going up to letter N. Observed a suggestion from Councilor Leahy that late files should be allowed to be referred to committee rather than engaging in lengthy discussions.
Lisi: asked for a moment of silence in memory of 15-year-old Jonas Nuñez who was killed in the city three days prior.
Council observed a 15 second moment of silence.
McGiverin: made motion to take up late files and go to the mayor’s letter, seconded by Councilor Tallman.

Motion was made and seconded to suspend the necessary rules and take up items F-K
McGee: recognized late files F, G, H, I, J and K. Asked Councilor McGiverin if he just wanted to take up the letter or the other documents that correspond.
McGiverin: suggested allowing mayor to speak on budget. Recognized there are a lot of questions. Suggested that they would need to make a determination this evening to vote or to call for a special meeting. Observed that the mayor is present, and that he should be allowed to present his letter.
McGee: stated the motion is to go out of order to F. All vote in favor.
McGiverin: made motion to allow Mayor Morse to speak, seconded by Councilor Tallman. All voted in favor.
Under discussion:
Mayor Morse: stated his plan was to provide overview of letter sent. Apologized for the timing of the letter, observing that the state budget had just been signed the previous Friday. Stated he believed it would be possible to vote on transfers and appropriations, and to set the tax rate. Stated number that needed to be balanced in order to set the tax rate is roughly $883K. Observed that two weeks ago, in looking at changes from late May, to where we are today, much has changed. 2020 has had major impacts from Covid, health as well as city operations and budget. Observed that the city hadn’t shrunk workforce or cut city services. A decision was made decision to weather the storm to prevent having to cut employees or services. In May, proposals were made based on an estimated 5% reduction in collection of property taxes, 98%-93%, and also predicted loss of revenue. Comparing FY20 with current fiscal year through June 30, expect to be about 2 million less in local receipts, majority due to Covid. $1.95 million down. About a half million is less in pilot revenue. Referring to spreadsheet provided earlier in day, there is a difference year to year in local revenues. Reduction of$75K in license and permit fees, license board waived fees to small business, less in parking facilities. One positive was excise tax for cannabis companies, which was not a receipt in previous years. Referring to sewer enterprise funds, factored in requirement from state to raise and appropriate $1.3 million deficit in sewer fund from previous year. On top, projected operational deficit of $1.1 million reflected in current amount, state requires reduce projected sewer amounts based on actual revenue in FY20. After talking to DPW, questioned how city didn’t know about deficit. State law had prohibited water shutoff due to Covid. Quarter of a million of deficit is the result. Also mentioned an unanticipated cost of deep sewer collapses. Despite raising sewer rate a couple years, still not sustainable to cover cost. In order to set tax rate, a couple things must happen. When school appropriation was done in June, city adopted $93,894,000 budget for FY21, $74.6 million going to in personal services and expenses, remainder that city had little to no say over. Final school department number is $88.4 mil. Overall decrease of $5.46 million in school budget. $4.2 mil is the amount that city is able to reduce the school department budget by. Not cuts in staffing. Stated the city funds 100% of school transportation costs. In May, $8.8 million was proposed for school transportation. Due to schools not being open, plus looking at hybrid model in January, they decreased transportation costs by $1.8 million. If conditions require not doing a hybrid model, there would likely be more savings. Council needs to vote to reduce school appropriation by $4,203,808. To Summarize: been difficult year, but there has been some good news: overall, looking at trajectory in economic development, significant increase in property values, new growth numbers of over $1 million. In June, stabilization fund was over $13 million and has since gained $1.3 million in investments. In order to preserve city services and avoid layoffs, City Council should balance remaining deficit by approving proposed transfer of stabilization fund. Stated there isn’t an expectation of free cash but noted it wouldn’t be in the negative as it had been previous year. He described a big push at the federal level for direct aid to cities and towns. He explained that the $3 million the city received in Cares Act funds cannot be used to supplant lost revenue, even if it can be attributed to Covid. Stated that one thing chronically affecting free cash is deduction of individual deficits from grants and departments that aren’t being reimbursed. City needs to do better job of documenting.
Councilor Lebron-Martinez arrived at 7:12pm
McGiverin: stated appreciation of the information and mayor’s attendance. Questioned if state looked at sewer fund, noted it is supposed to be paid by user fees only, if they looked at deficit and had an understanding that Covid had a major role, could they push aside and allow city to take it on later in year.
Morse: met with people with state to discuss, they are not convinced that we will get more revenue this year than last year. DPW would have to provide proof that suggests we will succeed in getting additional revenue. Doubted that they would provide that kind of flexibility.
McGiverin: concerns that state does not look at budget adjustments during course of year. Asked if it is the understanding that the state just looks at bills and receipts.
Morse: stated he believes so, but accounting staff may know better.
McGiverin: observed that $281K is deficits it in school department budget. No managerial control because of receivership, also observed that receiver hadn’t reached out to city council in months since taking position. Stated that council doesn’t vote on grants they receive, and that they don’t make grants whole by making appropriate postings throughout course of year. With receivership and school committee not voting, city has no say.
Morse: suggested that in looking at deficits in school department, could consider increasing the reduction.
McGiverin: suggested that a lawsuit should be filed against the receivership, stating that it feels like taxation without representation. Stated that he has no problem with using stabilization to balance budget, respects that if additional revenues come in, it would be put back. Recognized that chapter 70 funds expected did not come in. Suggested that there needs to be more fairness in funding offered to poorer communities such as Holyoke. Also observed that funds going to School Department has increased more than funds going into the schools. Observed that budget is usually handled by full council, not in the Finance Committee.
Leahy: Stated that he has not met new receiver, recalled ease of communication with previous receiver. Stated a concern about the transportation costs, specifically in regards to homeless kids, that the city of Holyoke incurs the cost of driving Holyoke students to schools in other communities if they make the choice to attend schools out of the city. Stated he believed that those other communities should help incur the cost.
McGiverin: observed that the Auditor was in attendance and has heard the discussion.
Greaney: reiterating statement from McGiverin about school budget, observed test scores in last five year have decreased in all categories. We have sent students to good colleges. To mayor, asked for a clarification. If the transportation budget is around 8 million, and they’ve found deductions of $1.8 million, where are transportation costs being incurred with children not in school due to Covid?
Morse: they asked for $8.8 million before, based on the existing contract, but we didn’t believe there was any way we would spend that. Based on union contract with Durham, we are obligated to pay a percentage, even when schools are closed. There have been small pockets of students, including special education, using transportation, and there is still half of the school year remaining. Plan is to transition to hybrid learning in January, starting with k-2 and then gradually bringing in higher grades as well. He stated that Soto did a projection of how much of the $8.8 million would be needed. Once we appropriate money for schools, we don’t get it back. Stated that the better option is to reduce the budget, and then schools could ask for more if they need more in the spring.
Greaney: asked that if city if bound by contract, what is the percentage city is contractually required to pay to Durham.
Morse: stated he believes it is around 50%.
Greaney: asked if the city is due to negotiate a new school contract soon.
Morse: stated that the current contract expires at the end of this school year. Also stated an expectation for a new RFP in spring for another 3-year contract.
Greaney: stated that he believes it is a lot to pay for little service.
Bartley: stated that he didn’t believe this to be the right forum to continue discussing an important issue. Stated that he has skimmed the materials and spoken with the Assessor. Observed that although it is not the best-case scenario to delay vote, but that the materials had just been received after noon. Stated he believed that something this important should not be rushed and that there should be a Finance meeting before Council takes up the votes in time to get tax bills out.
Sullivan: question to mayor: regarding $88,430,786 school budget, observed there is decrease of $5,464,000. Why only asking to decrease by $4.2 million
Morse: stated that of the $88 million, only about $70 million is appropriated by the City Council.
Wdowiak: if you look at transfer, the $4.2 is personal service line item. Stated that $1.8 million is the transportation reduction. Personal services is Chapter 70.
Sullivan: need more explanation. If $4.2 million is a reduction in personal services and expenses, and rest is reduction in cherry sheet assessments. Asked for clarification if cherry sheet assessments is money that had to be put out of from general fund.
Wdowiak: clarified that the cherry sheet is the state, set by receipts from the state. Personal services and expenses are in budget, the reduction underneath school exposes is what city approached toward personal services and expenses.
Sullivan: Asked to clarify that $1.8 million in transportation is part of $4.2 million in personal services.
Wdowiak: personal services and expenses are what city appropriates within the budget.
Sullivan: $1.8 is part of $4.2?
Wdowiak: correct.
Sullivan: In regard to $500,000 less in pilot revenue due to solar being apply to personal property tax bills. Asked when city started applying pilots to personal property tax bills, and also if that means people aren’t paying their pilots now,
Jackowski: this year we shored up all solar pilot agreements we had. They get applied to personal a property bill. Previously, they would send into treasurer office. In projecting revenue in June, didn’t realize change and incorrectly applied pilot revenues in regular line. Now coming in as revue under the tax bill. Revenue amount is the same, just don’t see in the local revenue because it has been moved to tax bills revenue.
Sullivan: if still coming in, how does that work into reduction.
Jackowski: see reduction in local receipts, included in tax bill receipt. Don’t see that under local revenues.
Sullivan: supposed to new pilot with HG&E and received communication from Bloomberg, saying it was in progress, but nothing came before council to approve new pilot. Asked for status.
Morse: no update at the moment.
Sullivan: agree with Bartley to get in front of finance for an hour. Could be a difference of $100K-$200K. Also, would like answers on a couple more things.
Morse: Stated his belief that these are conversations worth having, and that he would be open to calling a special meeting or having a brief Finance meeting followed by a special City Council meeting.
Vacon: question and comment. Asked if there are any hiring freezes in the city at the moment.
Morse: stated that there isn’t a broad no hiring directive, but that department heads are using discretion on what to fill. If a position is necessary, they should be filled, but they should be delayed when possible. Observed that one thing that needed to be anticipated is that any OT through end of year is being paid through Cares Act funding, but that ends at end of year. Anything after that, would have to come out of general fund.
Vacon: as a follow up, asked how many positions are being put on hold.
Morse: stated that he doesn’t have exact numbers.
Vacon: asked for rough estimate.
Morse: stated that turnover is roughly as it usually is. City hasn’t had to layoff and hasn’t had to reduce workforce. A handful of positions are likely open.
Vacon: stated that she would like to see items go to Finance committee, observing that she hadn’t had a chance to review documents sent earlier in the day. Asked for a plan to set a special meeting after the Finance meeting. Stated that she would like to see further cuts to school budget for consideration that could later be refunded. Preferred to put funding back later than to move out of stabilization that wouldn’t likely be paid back.
Murphy: also agree that we should have special meeting to take it all up and all councilors can be there to ask questions and get answers. Referring to cite made in June, it was anticipated that there would be free cash to make up deficit. In order to set tax rate, we need all information. What are the various tax classifications in terms of residential versus commercial? Regarding cannabis revenues, observed he has been asking for expectations. Some not included in budget.
Morse: asked councilors to contact his office between now and special meeting if there are reduction ideas or suggestions.
Murphy: would prefer special meeting to do all at one time.
Lisi: stated her preference to just have a special meeting and didn’t see a value in having a finance meeting first.
Tallman: stated that most materials were just received and that he would prefer a special meeting.
Vacon: stated that relative to Finance, would be seeking feedback and input relative to increasing cuts to school budget. Suggested a committee meeting that wouldn’t involve full council to discuss greater cuts before full council discusses budget.
Morse: Stated that Soto is available but wouldn’t likely show up to offer another $500K in cuts.
Vacon: would suggest that mayor and staff have better handle on numbers.
McGiverin: as a follow up, think city council has to decide next step. For schools, stated a need to know net school spending obligation. Asked to allow tax collector to address what is needed to get the tax bills out in time.
Jackowski: stated she had been researching the last date in order to get bills out on time.
McGiverin: stated he has no problem with a Finance meeting, but that there is no need to have all councilors on a meeting twice. There shouldn’t be two meetings where the same questions are asked twice.
McGee: to Anthony Dulude, asked if he was all set in getting the information.
Dulude: stated he had set up meetings for Monday, but not feasible right now with what is being planned. Need to make sure munis can come. Have to make sure can print the bills. Will likely be Christmas Eve to get file done.
McGee: asked if council plan to meet Monday would work.
Dulude: stated that they have to get certified by state once paperwork is filed. $57 million is going to be number that is voted on for classification, which was sent three weeks prior. Only transfer is the $883K.
Bartley: stated that he can be available on Saturday. Clarified that the reason he suggested the Finance meeting is so that there could be conversation without the pressure of the vote. Observed that other communities have already set their tax rates and questioned shifting blame to state. Stated his belief there should be a committee meeting, and that items should be referred to committee.
McGee: stated that council president or the mayor can call the special meeting.
Bartley: made motion to table and refer to Finance.
Vacon: asked if there is adequate time to have the meetings on Friday to allow Assessor and Collector to move forward on Monday.
McGee: stated there should be time.
Vacon: suggested meeting on Friday to allow department heads to do their work.
Murphy: seconded suggestion for Friday.
Sullivan: agreed with plan to meet on Friday.
McGee: questioned if all necessary employees can attend Friday meeting.
Dulude: stated he is available.
Morse: stated he would defer to team.
Jackowski: stated she is available.
Wdowiak: stated he is available.
Bartley: observed that city employees appear to be available.
McGee: observed that City Council appears to be available.
On motion to table and send to Finance, Tallman seconded. All vote in favor.
McGee: clarified that the motion would be to suspend rules to take up G through K as package.
Bartley: made motion to take up G through K as a package and refer to Finance, seconded by Tallman. All vote in favor.
McGee: read items G through K.
Morse: asked for clarification on if items were going to Finance or to a special meeting?
McGee: clarified that items will go to Finance and then to special meeting.
Morse: asked if bulk of work would happen in Finance.
McGee: stated that it would be.
Morse: asked for earliest that participants can meet on Friday.
Discussion ensued, with some comments observing that people have day jobs.
Dulude: pointed out that public meetings cannot happen before 5pm.
McGee: stated that the Finance meeting would begin at 5pm, followed by a special council meeting at 6:30pm. (Note: the special council meeting ended up being scheduled for 6pm.)
McGee: clarified that he had a conversation with Morse that morning to discuss a plan for providing materials to the Council and planning the meeting and the vote. Stated it was his intent to get the materials to council members right away. Stated his belief that there wouldn’t be a vote right away.
Tallman: stated his approval of the plan but asked for clarification of when the tax rate would be set.
McGee: clarified that it would begin at 6:30 along with appropriations.
Clerk McGee: for purposes of posting the agenda, asked if special meeting will just be setting the tax rate and budget transfers.
McGee: stated one issue might be is there being a separate appropriation for transportation.
Morse: stated his willingness to have conversations up to the point that the agenda has to be set at 6:30 on Wednesday.
Vacon: requested that mayor would attend Finance meeting with additional appropriation options to consider for special meeting.
(Video timestamp: 1:15:20)
Estimated Calculation of Free Cash
---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee.

From Tasha Marshall, Assistant City Solicitor letter re: License Board Authority to Waive Fees.
---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee.

From Mayor Alex Morse, Proposal to balance the FY21 budget
---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee.

From Mayor Morse, Budget Recapitulation
---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee.

From Mayor Morse, Transportation Cut/Updated Appropriation
---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee.

MCGIVERIN Ordered, that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2021, EIGHT HUNDRED EIGHTY THREE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY EIGHT AND 85/100/100 Dollars ($883,758.85) as follows:

FROM:
8810-59710 TRANSFER TO GENERAL FUND $883,758.85
TOTAL: $883,758.85
TO:
10005-49720 TRANSFER FR STABILIZATION/SPEC REV $883,758.85
TOTAL: $883,758.85

To the City Council:
I hereby recommend the passage of the above order at the meeting of your Council to be held Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

Alex B Morse, Mayor
---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee.

MCGIVERIN Ordered, that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2021, FIVE MILLION FOUR HUNDRED SIXTY FOUR THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED FORTY THREE AND 00/100 Dollars ($5,464,143.00) as follows:

FROM:
13001-51101 PERSONAL SERVICES $2,403,808.00
13002-57000 OTHER EXPENSES 1,800,000.00
18202-56513 CHARTER SCHOOL SENDING 1,380,358.00
TOTAL: $5,464,143.00
TO:
18202-56510 SPED TUITION ASSESSMENT $282.00
18202-56511 SCHOOL CHOICE ASSESSMENT 119,741.00
TOTAL: $5,464,143.00

To the City Council:
I hereby recommend the passage of the above order at the meeting of your Council to be held Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

Alex B Morse, Mayor
---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee.

 

LAID ON THE TABLE

VACON Ordered, that an order that a City Council rule be added that City Council committees assigned in the prior term remain in effect for re-elected Councilors until the President-elect assigns new committees.
McGee: read 1: an order that a City Council rule be added that City Council committees assigned in the prior term remain in effect for re-elected Councilors until the President-elect assigns new committees.
McGiverin: made motion to leave to withdraw, no second.
Murphy: made motion to adopt, Vacon seconded.
McGiverin: made a point of order, stated that this is a charter change.
McGee: motion to allow Crystal Barnes to speak, seconded by Leahy. All vote in favor.
Barnes: stated that it depends on what is being done.
---> Received and referred to the Charter and Rules Committee.
Barnes: returning to item 1, stated that the Charter is what allows city council to set rules. Section 11 demands that president be elected, and that no other business happens until then. Rule 15 of City Council rules states all committees are announced by president. Council rules would have to be changed to allow for committees to carry over. Stated there would also need to be ruled to handle quorum issues if some councilors are not reelected. Reiterated that no business can be done until a president is elected.
Vacon: amendment that had been sent to council, should the chair of committee not be reelected, the senior member would act as chair until committees are announced by elected present. Also pointed out that there is a rule that allows for any member to sit on a committee to create a quorum.
McGiverin: stated that rules must be adopted each term. Until we elect president, and have meeting, we can’t adopt rules. New council needs to elect present and start over.
Lisi: stated that in addition to points made by McGiverin, with a new term and new councilors, committees would not be representative without new members having membership on committees.
Vacon: added that purpose of order is to keep business going forward, especially if there are public hearings set. Also noted that any member can sit in on any committee, and vote would count as much as any councilor.
Barnes: observed that some committees have gone down to three members and odds of just losing a chair could be slim, and that a quorum could be lost. Also pointed out that in terms of public hearings
Murphy: goal of order to make sure business continues when starting off a new term. Matter of trying to be efficient.
Greaney: stated the issue will not surface prior to next election. Preferred it to be back on table for further discussion.
Lisi: stated that entire order rests on an assumption that all the same people will get elected, or an expectation that new people will understand how to participate. Reason for delay at beginning of new term to get new members oriented.
McGee: would like to see order tightened up more based on legal opinion.
Greaney: motion to send back to committee, Lisi seconded.
Vacon: okay with returning to committee, stating that those with thoughts about the topic should show up at committee meeting.

From Brenna Murphy McGee, minutes from the November 4 and 17th meeting.
Bartley: made motion to take off table, make motion to approve, want discussion, seconded by Murphy. Stated he asked for table at last meeting for chance to look over minutes. Spoke well on the narrative of the minutes of the November 17th meeting.
---> Received and adopted.

VACON Ordered, that an order that the bonding for the 10 priority intersections and funding for the traffic light installations be reviewed in Finance Committee
---> Received and laid on the table.

A motion to take up 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, and adopt, were just waiting for legal language. Vacon seconded. All vote in favor.
Lisi: observed that council has legal language that was not available at last meeting.
GREANEY, JR. Ordered, that an order that a handicap space be placed in front of 420B Dwight St (Canal Place).
---> Report of Committee received and the Ordinance passed its first reading.
The Ordinance passed its second reading.
The Ordinance was passed to be enrolled.
The Committee has considered the same and find that it is truly and properly enrolled.
Report of Enrollment received.
The Ordinance was passed to be Ordained and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0
Approved by the Mayor.

Mayoral appointment of Rosanna Lopez as a Commissioner of the Planning Board
Motion was made and seconded to take late file N
From Legal, Planning Board Appointment, Proper Notice
McGee: Motion to go out of order to late file N, seconded by Lisi. All in favor.
McGee: reading from Barnes legal letter, letter of appointment was not on agenda when others were taken up and was not on the agenda for the committee meeting on November 18th meeting. Suggested that the item may not have received proper notice and should be placed on next agenda.
Murphy: made motion that appointment is confirmed.
Bartley: made motion to allow Clerk to speak, all vote in favor.
Clerk: Observed that Admin found original copy of letter with a late file letter at the top of the page from the October 6 meeting.
Lisi: seconded motion to confirm.
Bartley: observed it was a strange administrative error and agreed with approving the appointee.
Murphy: recalled that she wasn’t on the committee agenda and questioned if there could be a committee report. Also stated he had sat in as a substitute member during the meeting and agreed with her appointment.
Hernandez: agree with appointment. Noted that meeting was modified and was reason for her not being in attendance.
Leahy: Lopez came and gave great interview, in support of moving forward.
Greaney: was at meeting, supports appointment.
---> Received and appointment confirmed.

HERNANDEZ Ordered, that an order an order that a handicap sign be placed at 254 Walnut St .
---> Report of Committee received and the Ordinance passed its first reading.
The Ordinance passed its second reading.
The Ordinance was passed to be enrolled.
The Committee has considered the same and find that it is truly and properly enrolled.
Report of Enrollment received.
The Ordinance was passed to be Ordained and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0
Approved by the Mayor.

LEBRON-MARTINEZ Ordered, that an order that a handicap sign be placed at 77 Pine St.
---> Report of Committee received and the Ordinance passed its first reading.
The Ordinance passed its second reading.
The Ordinance was passed to be enrolled.
The Committee has considered the same and find that it is truly and properly enrolled.
Report of Enrollment received.
The Ordinance was passed to be Ordained and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0
Approved by the Mayor.

MCGEE Ordered, that an order  that a handicap sign be placed at 116 Pearl St.
---> Report of Committee received and the Ordinance passed its first reading.
The Ordinance passed its second reading.
The Ordinance was passed to be enrolled.
The Committee has considered the same and find that it is truly and properly enrolled.
Report of Enrollment received.
The Ordinance was passed to be Ordained and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0
Approved by the Mayor.

MURPHY Ordered, that an order that a handicap sign be placed at 7 Vernon St.
---> Report of Committee received and the Ordinance passed its first reading.
The Ordinance passed its second reading.
The Ordinance was passed to be enrolled.
The Committee has considered the same and find that it is truly and properly enrolled.
Report of Enrollment received.
The Ordinance was passed to be Ordained and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0
Approved by the Mayor.

Motion was made and seconded to take items 22E and 22M out of order:
The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred ordered that the honorable Holyoke City Council approve a grant in the amount of $175,000 to Kestral Land Trust. Said grant is for Open Space and will be used to fund the acquisition of ~14 acres of land abutting Scott Tower.  This will be a key component in leveraging a $435,400 Phase 1 project.
Voted on by CPAC 7 Yeas - 0 no - 2 absent
have considered the same and Recommended approval of the grant.

Committee Members:
David K. Bartley
Michael J. Sullivan
Peter R. Tallman
Howard B Greaney, Jr.
Gladys Lebron-Martinez
Bartley: motion to receive and adopt, grant special permit for 22M. Observed item was from the previous night. Asked for clarification that the amendment was attached on the special permit for the name of the applicant: Voces de Esperanza. Stated that Executive Director of Valley Opportunity Council. Stated that special permit was needed because of density of area. Former bodega on ground level, petitioner is asking to turn space into an apartment, two bedroom unit. Committee felt that special permit should be supported.
McGiverin: support in favor of recommendation. Stated he asked in committee about non-conforming use. Changing into residential isn’t what is non-conforming, issue is that they were told that the size would be an issue for size of residential use in building, observed that he believed it is really a variance they should be asking for.
---> Report of Committee received and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0.

The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred Special Permit Application of Valley Opportunity Council Inc. for an extension of pre-existing nonconforming structure at 348 Chestnut St/48-52 Franklin St. (Map 009 Block 06 Parcel 005).
have considered the same and Recommend the Special Permit be adopted with the amendment that the permit is under the name Voces De Esperanza Limited Partnership.

Committee Members:
David K. Bartley
Michael J. Sullivan
Peter R. Tallman
Howard B Greaney, Jr.
Gladys Lebron-Martinez
Bartley: this is part of process of CPA, would have it go to city council and then to committee for further discussion. We had department heads and good discussion. Funds will be used to leverage purchase of property, behind Overlook Drive and old Jarvis. Funds will allow Kestrel Land Trust to obtain possession of property for the purposes of temporary hold, Kestrel will procure state grants. Total purchase price is $300K, with an assessed value a little higher. Grants are Massachusetts Land and Water Conservation Fund and Mass Parkland Fund. Stated that Kestrel has been around and is well respected. Observed a good point was made by McGiverin about the develop ability of the land and that it could attract a taxpaying entity. Committee voted 4-0 to recommend.
---> Report of Committee received and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0.

Sullivan: glad we took up 22M, clarified that he meant to take up 22H as related items. Regarding Scotts Tower, one question discussed was the ongoing maintenance. One key component was that they will be providing ongoing support for programs and maintenance. Huge commitment on their part. Wanted to note that it would also time with 150th anniversary of city. Park was originally dedicated at 50th anniversary. Suggested suspending rules to allow Mark Wamsley to speak.
Greaney: believes that Scotts tower is historically beacon of community and that people will appreciate this and should support this project. Also noted Kestrel has a great reputation.
Sullivan: observed that city would be leveraging $435,400 by with the $175K contribution.
McGiverin: supporting item because this will become for use purposes or part of parkland for city.
Greaney: used to ride toboggans from Scott's Tower to Northampton St.
Anderson-Burgos: in childhood, use to pretend to be king of castle, exploring area there is a rock with an inscription with a dedication. Hoped that rock can be preserved.
Bartley: stated park was established in 1923. 2023 is when they hope to commemorate 150th anniversary of Holyoke becoming a city. Clarified that it will be a city park. Kestrel will acquire it, try to get grants, and give to city, but continue to maintain it. If they are unsuccessful in getting grants, stated that Kestral is committed to selling it back to city at a discounted price.
Lisi: spoke in favor of item, great opportunity for city, and added recreation for area. Much enjoyment

Motion made and seconded to suspend the necessary rules and take item 22 H out of order:
The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred an order that the honorable Holyoke City Council approve a grant in the amount of $250,000 to Wayfinders. Said grant is for Housing and will be matched by CDBG in order to access a 16.4 million dollar state grant. Voted on by CPAC  5 Yeas - 1 No - 1 Abstain - 2 Absent
have considered the same and Recommend the order be adopted.

Committee Members:
David K. Bartley
Michael J. Sullivan
Peter R. Tallman
Howard B Greaney, Jr.
Gladys Lebron-Martinez
Bartley: motion to receive, adopt committee report, approve financing of CPA funds public housing for low income people, seconded by councilor Vacon. Great discussion with petitioner. They’re looking for $250K, conditions have to do with protecting taxpayer dollars, and assuring they are used for construction. Observed that Holyoke needs housing. This will be considered low income, way it was explained, should give taxpayers confidence. People who would benefit are working poor who need great housing. Conditions are reasonable, and Wayfinders agrees with it. If it had just been passed in Council before committee, maybe we wouldn’t have totally understood this, with conditions. Good reason for referring to committees.
Murphy: agrees with project, referred to existing job done with Library Commons phrase 1. Understands that 18 are 30% of median income, 23 at 60% of median income. Fixed affordable rent: $576 for those in first income category and $1100 for those in second category. Will pay property taxes to city, run by for profit entity. This will add to existing positive development in area.
Sullivan: observed that the difference between this and many other projects, property will pay real estate taxes, key component in consideration. Conditions took in a lot of thought, with strict CPA control over timeline and important benchmarks.
Tallman: in favor pf project. Likes hearing about effort from Wayfinders in the area. Stated that 1,550 people have applied for 41 apartments. Observed a great need for housing, and this helps convert an area that has been in tough shape and putting in beautiful apartments.
Leahy: one question was about funds. To Sullivan, are these funds restricted, in that they don’t go to administrative costs or salaries, etc.
Sullivan: all funds are earmarked for construction.
Greaney: in support, will be a great taxing paying entity, this is what our residents need.
McGee: observed that the motion is to approve with seven conditions.
(Conditions for the record: 1. The CPA commitment of $250,000 for this project would be for an 8 month period only. The 8 month commitment would enable the applicant to apply for the state and federal funds in January 2021, and potentially receive an award by the summer of 2021; 2. If the applicant does not receive state funding by the summer of 2021 to proceed with the project, the applicant may request an extension from the CPC for an additional 4-6 months to participate in additional grant application rounds; 3. CPA funds for this project will not be drawn out until all the necessary funding commitments for the full construction have been obtained, and if they are not obtained by Sep. 1, 2021 and no request for a 4-6 month extension is put forward and accepted by the CPC, this grant will automatically terminate and the funds allocated for this project will no longer be reserved for this purpose; 4. If a request for an extension is put forward prior to the Sept. 1, 2021, the CPC will have the option of granting or denying said extension without any requirement to put this recommendation before the City Council a second time; 5. All construction work for this project must be completed by December 31, 2023. Applicant may request an extension of this date from CPC and CPC will have the option of granting or denying said extension without any requirement to put this recommendation before the City Council a second time; 6. No disbursements of funds may occur until the project in its entirety has received all necessary permitting and approvals for all relevant municipal, state, and federal authorities; 7. Other conditions may apply, as deemed necessary and as fully set forth within the final grant agreement with the City.
Lebron-Martinez: noted that she cannot give feedback and has to abstain from vote because daughter works for Wayfinders. ---> Report of Committee passed two readings and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 12--Nays 0--Absent 0. Councilor Lebron-Martinez did not vote or participate in discussion on this item.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Video timestamp: 2:13:10)
McGee: observed there are several people in attendance for public comment. clarified rules for public comment.
Lisi: motion to suspend necessary rules, seconded by Murphy. All vote in favor.
McGiverin: on motion to suspend rules, public comment is to hear ideas, not to have public hearing. Observed that past public comment periods have developed into long discussions that are better suited for a different forum. Stated we should limit public comment to sound bites about the agenda.
McGee: read rule about public comment, opportunity for members of public to speak freely about items on and off the agenda. Recognized that rule has been suspended been in the past. Asked Admin to gauge number of people in attendance for public comment.
Admin: observed there are several people, perhaps at least a dozen.
Bartley: supported suspending rule to allow more than ten to speak and allow people from out of town. Pointed out that item public is likely to comment on was taken up in public hearing through the DGR committee. City council is taking up what the mayor approved. City Council ratifies. Made motion to suspend the rules, seconded by Tallman.
Lisi: suggested to people who wish to speak to use the participants button at bottom of Zoom screen, and then use raised hands tool.
McGee: reiterated rules for public comment, clarified that rule is to speak for one minute.
Anderson-Burgos: stated that people should have attended committee meeting when public hearing happened. That was the time to bring up concerns or questions.
Spiros Hatiras – President and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center: observed that Baystate pulled plan to develop a year ago. In ensuring time, HMC developed plan to put behavioral health at their location. To HMC will pay 5% of value of project toward a community health initiative with Holyoke, which would not happen with Baystate project. Asking city to hold Baystate to same process as HMC. Observed that Baystate is planning to move beds from other locations in the region. Stated it doesn’t make sense to build two projects adding up to over 200 beds within two miles. Doesn’t believe that two projects in same community would be approved.
Munoz: stated she works at Holyoke Media but speaking personally as journalist. Alarmed by city councilors admonishing people for speaking p.
McGee: clarified rule that prohibits people directly criticizing councilors.
Munoz: stated that she likes to hear different points of view, and that people from in and out of the city.
Donovan: lived in Holyoke in past and works in Holyoke. Expressed that with being informed, didn’t know there was a subcommittee meeting. Stated that Baystate has problems with human rights issues, Baystate and Kindred, not great care giving organizations. Concerned about regional issue with smaller hospitals being closed.
Maldonado: observing lack of efficiency in City Hall. Expressed not believing that all members of community know what is going on with city.
Jones: expressed not knowing about previous committee meeting. Suggested tabling motion and voting against it. In favor of local healthcare.
McGiverin: motion to receive item 10 and refer to Public Service. All vote in favor.
(Video timestamp 2:31:00)

 

COMMUNICATIONS

From Mayor Alex B, Morse letter appointing Ms. Joan Plummer, 7 Radcliffe St. and Mr. Jason Lefebvre, 113 Nonotuck St. to serve as members on the Library Board of Directors for the City of Holyoke: Ms. Plummer will replace Ms. Danielle E. Brown and will serve a two year term; said tern will expire in February 2022. Mr. Jason Lefebvre will replace Mr. Bellamy Schmidt and will serve a three year term; said term will expire February 2023.
---> Received and referred to the Public Service Committee.

From Crystal Barnes, Acting City Solicitor re: Subcommittee Assignments.
---> Received and referred to the Charter and Rules Committee.

From Crystal Barnes, Acting City Solicitor, opinion re: Public Hearing Notice Requirements.
---> Received.

Motion was made and seconded to suspend the necessary rules and take items 13, 14, and 15
From Tanya Wdowiak, City Auditor Fy2021 Pilot Payments to October 30, 2020.
---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee.

From Scott MacPherson, Executive Director, Holyoke Community Media, Inc. Re: Holyoke Media Annual Report, Independent Auditor's Report Year ended December 31, 2019, Holyoke Media Budget 2019, Budget 2019 reconciliation, 2020 Budget.
---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee.

Communication from Department of Revenue re: Holyoke Tax Rate.
---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee.

From Board of Fire Commission minutes of October 15, 2020.
---> Received.

PETITIONS

Petition of Gina and Raquel Fasoli Figueroa for a special permit for a home occupation at 145 Mountain View Dr. for a Painting Business.
---> Received and referred to the Development and Governmental Relations Committee.

President’s Report
McGee: stated that Admin Jeffery Anderson-Burgos. had updated the webpage for the City Council. Recognized that Councilor Bartley had filed an order before to get the page updated with committees and members. Stated that meetings, past meeting video, committee descriptions.
Bartley: expressed appreciation to Admin. for work to update website. Also pointed out a plan to add councilor bios.
McGee: stated that Leahy asked about tree lighting. Observed that Terry Shepard with Parks and Rec responded next day with communication to councilors.

Motion was made and seconded to suspend the necessary rules and take items 22C, and late files C, B, and E out of order:
The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred an order that the Honorable Holyoke City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. c 30B and the Holyoke Procurement Ordinance, vote to accept the offer from the Baystate Health / Kindred Healthcare partnership purchase the land and building located at 45 Lower Westfield Road for $250,000.00. The property is identified by Holyoke Assessors as Map 117, Block 00, Parcel 018 and is zoned Multifamily residence and professional office (RO).
have considered the same and Recommended that the offer be accepted.

Committee Members:
David K. Bartley
Michael J. Sullivan
Peter R. Tallman
Howard B Greaney, Jr.
Gladys Lebron-Martinez
---> Report of Committee received and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0.

From Diane Scherrer, MA Nurses Assoc., regarding voting on GAH
---> Received.

From Spiros Hatiras, CEO Holyoke Medical Center
---> Received.

LISI, Leahy Ordered, that Resolution related to GAH sale
---> Received and referred to the Development and Governmental Relations Committee.

Lisi: under suspension, motion to take up late files on item: B, C, and E. All were items related to 22C. Seconded by Leahy. All vote in favor.
McGee: clarified the late files being addressed are B, C, and E.
B: email from Bartley pertaining to Geriatric Authority property sale.
C: from HMC, outlining CEO Hatiras perspective.
E: Resolution related to GAH property sale.
Lisi: motion to receive, adopt late file resolution E. summarized the late file is that Holyoke will become regional provider of beds, and should allow equal access to beds. Also, individual points about making sure that workers have right to organize, paying fair wages, not things city can control because of being private entity. Should be on record as things city values. Would like to take this item out of package.
Lisi: Stated an amendment to resolution that Ware should replace Palmer in the wording. All vote in favor of amendment.
Lebron-Martinez: stated that we should assure everyone goes through the same process in terms of determination of need. Suggested adding to resolution.
McGiverin: this is late file, asked if the item is currently being taken up with a 2/3rds vote.
McGee: clarified that it will be.
McGiverin: To maker of order, asked if this is in reference to Baystate proposal.
Lisi: stated that because Baystate plans to close other facilities and relocating beds to Holyoke, resolution is saying we will think about this as regional facility to give people access from throughout region. Stating that we as a city value right of workers to unionize and paid fair wages and benefits. It is a resolution, a symbolic statement of values.
McGiverin: stated he didn’t think it is a fair motion. Laid out other hospitals that Baystate owns. Believed that it is unfair to get in idle of economic struggle between hospitals. City council did not speak up with Providence closing. Observed other economic benefits to land sale, including demolition. City will someday have to take on expense of demolition. Asked to table motion until council decides on what to do with project.
Murphy: agreed that resolution should be dealt with at another time. Offered concerns at committee meeting and expressed greater concern after discussion tonight. Need to be cautious on what we do. Appreciated this proposal does provide property tax that wasn’t coming in with previous proposal. Concerns that health care needs to be regional. If Baystate wanted to do something in smaller capacity and keep other operations, would be in favor. Asked about transportation and support of family, they said they would try to work on that. After comments from HMC, didn’t know there were taxes with HMC, worried about getting less tax with Baystate. If Baystate project doesn’t happen and HMC adds 64 beds, if they pay similar taxes as Baystate, area ends up with 133 units. If only Baystate happens, it is only 120 beds. For employment, highly recommend hiring Holyoke residents, should consider building smaller facility increasing beds in region, allowing HMC expansion to go forward, and have Baystate keep operations in other locations. Expressed concern about care for patients being first goal.
Vacon: shared concerns of colleagues but observed that current jurisdiction is only sale of property. Determination of need matters are a state public health issue. Site permissions likely are not within purview of city council. Questioned if council has control of what happens at property. In terms of resolution, believe it should be sent to committee. With the sale, stated belief it had been vetted in committee. Other concerns would be a part of the later review process.
Leahy: agreed with resolution going to committee, good to have those discussions on mental health issues. Understands concerns of people in community about a need for more beds and people having to travel longer distances.
Anderson-Burgos: offered clarification regarding statement about silencing voices. Stated appreciation in hearing points of view but asked for people to recognize that there is a committee process for addressing concerns. Also pointed out the potential cost of demolition to the city and expressed that Baystate has other communicates to choose from if not Holyoke.
Lisi: stated that reason for filing resolution is because of work in committee. Should explore conditions of the sale and get commitments from buyer. Would like to have seen conditions built into it. Observed that if Providence closed their facility, the current model must be unsustainable. Cannot have more than one facility. HMC has DPH approval. Wants to see commitment to values. More information to be considered.
Hernandez: added desire to see something done with property, recognized work put into hearing the item in committee. Agree that we should review and set provisions. Would like to see
Tallman: stated appreciation time Lisi put in with resolution. We are looking at sale of property today. Observed a possibility that both Baystate and HMC could be of value to the city.
Greaney: agree with Anderson-Burgos that there are other communities that are viable for project. Our job is to make a decision to benefit the city. Stated that there are things we don’t have control over, but we have control over that property. If we drag our feet, Baystate will go elsewhere.
Lebron-Martinez: heard from Hatiras about how they will bring taxes to city, they are building facility to address this issue with beds. Plan to oppose because we should give it more time. Expressed concern about closing facilities in other areas to bring beds to Holyoke.
Murphy: information received regarding HMC and that if Baystate proposal goes, they may not be paying taxes. Been at committee and read proposals and hadn’t know that. Only advantage is that we only get $250K in demolition, no guarantee for advantage in taxes or local employment, as opposed to HMC. If HMC is built, would Baystate change mind. Baystate seems committed. Believes that other things can be negotiated that would benefit Holyoke, Baystate, and patients.
Sullivan: if there are multiple hospitals offering treatment for various ailments and diseases, why not have different places offering the best care. City council shouldn’t get in middle a fight between different entities. That is role of DPH. If local people are hired, that is issue for local union. Property has been vacant for years. This proposal takes liability form the city and brings in cash.
Vacon: three points: we have had an increasingly deteriorating property for many years. Presentation that was brought to DGR made big point, infrastructure and physical settings that current housing in, old and dated, what is allowed for in terms of treatment. This investment in this facility is state of the art. Leahy made point, that some people are now traveling more than 2 hours to find services. If increase isn’t adequate to meet need, why would it be necessary that one happening means the other couldn’t. The fact that Baystate has been investing in project for two years. Observed that each time bids for property was sought, each time generated less interest.
McGiverin: clarified that what is before council is List’s resolution.
McGee: clarified that B,C, and E are before council, adding that Lisi did ask for discussion on resolution specifically.
McGiverin: if we vote on resolution before committee report, will vote no. This is not our place to get between. DPH hearing is when resolution should be adopted. Right now, this is land sale. Should table resolution, send to committee or defeat.
Vote taken to allow for Anderson-Burgos to speak for third time.
Anderson-Burgos: people in city voted for council because they believe in members. Want to caution to look at movement of emails that came all at once, seeing it as issue as last moment. See potential for a good move for the city going forward.
Lisi: stated for record that City Council meetings are predictable, easier to find full city council meeting than committee meetings. Resolution is symbolic. Didn’t think it’s about coming between entities. Motion is to send to DGR committee, seconded by Hernandez. All vote in favor.
Bartley: B can be received, seconded by Leahy. All vote in favor.
McGee: clarified that B was received by council.
Bartley: motion to receive C, Leahy seconded. All vote in favor.
McGee: clarified C.
Leahy: clarified that HMC falls under DPH, Baystate falls under BOM.
Bartley: stated discussion tonight was good, shows big hearts in Holyoke. Observes that sometimes we are bogged down with external voices. On allowing people to address, at committee meetings, we welcome comments, notices are posted. To HMC president, you know this is going on with Baystate, and questioning not knowing about meeting. On merits of project, property has been falling apart. Estimated north of $250K in annual property taxes. No one time investment, not a cap at 30 years, taxes in perpetuity. Heard from speaker that there were multiple RFPs, last one was one response. Also, to mention jobs, 100-200 good paying jobs, also heard preference for local hiring. Also heard that Baystate is good with unions. Observed that Council cannot condition sale of real estate. Also heard that this will be a teaching hospital. Modern facilities, good landscaping. Also, will go through site plan review in Planning Board. Process is to accept offer of $250K. Committee voted 4-0 to accept offer.
Sullivan: stated Bartley did good job of summarization. Noted property tax will be paid in perpetuity. If acquired by another operation, commitment goes with property. With the deterioration of building, it has become a hazard.
Greaney: sat in meeting, proponents for project were vetted, great presentation. Multimillion dollars project for city property that is just sitting.
McGiverin: stated economic of sale of land makes most sense. Saving in demolition costs and getting a state-of-the-art facility on top of the beds. With concerns about conditions, DPH will vet those things out. Observed that city often loses developers to other communities in the region.
Lisi: reiterated her resolution was out of respect for committee, and suggested she looks forward to the discussion that will happen in committee. Stated she will support plan for sale.
Clerk called the roll: All vote in favor.
(Video timestamp: 3:44:50)

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order for a Secondhand License Application for Sidikson Mamadjonov at 50 Holyoke St.
have considered the same and Recommended that the license be approved.

Committee Members:
Joseph M. McGiverin
Peter R. Tallman
Michael J. Sullivan
James M. Leahy
David K. Bartley
McGiverin: made motion to approve 19A, seconded by. Clarified that applicant will only buy goods, knows about need to keep a log of sales and recording licenses of sellers. Recommended allowing the license and adopting. Amendment to send copy to police department to look out for logs.
---> Report of Committee received and recommendation adopted.

The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2021, FIVE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED TWO AND 00/100 ($5,102.00) as follows:
FROM:
11462-53010               TAX TITLE CERTIFICATION                    $5,102.00
TOTAL:          $5,102.00
TO:
11461-51500               PAY-VACATION BUYBACK                     $5,102.00
TOTAL           $5,102.00
have considered the same and Recommended that the transfer be approved.

Committee Members:
Joseph M. McGiverin
Peter R. Tallman
Michael J. Sullivan
James M. Leahy
David K. Bartley
McGiverin: made motion to receive and pass first reading for adoption, seconded by Tallman. Stated committee met with tax collector, voted on a couple of these before and expected more before end of year. Vacation buyback is done with permission of department head. Stated it is Covid related, caused by limited capacity restrictions in City Hall and restrictions on how much work can be done at home., and that people don’t have time to use vacation time. Tax Collector had surplus money because she did not get a bill from state for tax titles. She is sure she will get through. Two union clerks are asking for the buyback. Committee voted in favor.
Bartley: stated he asked department head about transfer and source of funds, expressed confidence in answer. Appreciated the hard work of appointees, and a tendency to support requests.
All vote in favor.
Tallman: made motion to pass second reading.
---> Report of Committee received and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0.

The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that the City Council and any other city department look into minimizing ‘legal notice advertising costs.’ There are now three newspapers covering Holyoke and each provides legal ads. Please refer to the Administrative Assistant who shall report back to the Finance Committee with a report compared ad rates and other relevant factors.
have considered the same and Recommended that the order has been complied with.

Committee Members:
Joseph M. McGiverin
Peter R. Tallman
Michael J. Sullivan
James M. Leahy
David K. Bartley
McGiverin: motion to receive and adopt. Had meeting with legal department and Admin. Got rates and ideas back from admin. Found out petitioners are legally required to do legal ads. Committee feels we got necessary info back. Observed that costs vary widely. Suggested that petitioners should shop around for rates when doing legal ads.
Bartley: recalled comments during hen discussion about costs for legal ads, leading to need for research to look into costs of all papers. Suggested that one is extremely expensive among all of them. After the legal opinion, we can use a less expensive option. Also, when businesses have to submit, they can see a cost savings.
Murphy: thanked Bartley for filing order, and Admin for the research. Didn’t believe Council can endorse one over another but encouraged petitioners to look at options.
---> Report of Committee received and recommendation adopted.

The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that the City Council refer to the Law Department a question asking whether a petitioner to the City Council requiring a public hearing (be it a business, an individual, a public or private corporation, and/or any petitioning entity) is compelled to provide public notice via a newspaper of record or whether the City Council can petition the State Legislature under a Home Rule Petition to waive any state law requiring public notices be placed in a local newspaper so long as the City Council (and any other city department) publicly provides notice on the website of the City of Holyoke. Background: this matter was recently raised because of the issue of costs to the public to comply may be prohibitive.
have considered the same and Recommended that the order has been complied with.

Committee Members:
Joseph M. McGiverin
Peter R. Tallman
Michael J. Sullivan
James M. Leahy
David K. Bartley
McGiverin: motion to receive and adopt the committee report. Observed that the discussion has already happened, and that the legal opinion explains why we have to do it.
---> Report of Committee received and recommendation adopted.

The Committee on Finance to whom was referred Letter from Crystal Barnes regarding overtime pay during City Hall closures.
have considered the same and Recommended that the order has been complied with.

Committee Members:
Joseph M. McGiverin
Peter R. Tallman
Michael J. Sullivan
James M. Leahy
David K. Bartley
McGiverin: motion to receive and adopt. Question was how it works when City Hall closed and certain unions get time and half. DPW and two unions get time and a half. In talking to City Solicitor that this will not come up with police or fire because their language addresses. Short opinion addresses questions of the order.
---> Report of Committee received and recommendation adopted.

Motion was made and seconded to suspend the necessary rules and take items 2-A-20H as a package
The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order Follow up questions from constituent Kocayne Givner regarding CC meeting 4/21/20 in which O’Connor Street was discussed and a traffic study is in order: “Lawler St has speed bumps. Would this be an option for O’Connor Ave in order to deter through traffic and speeding? Are there plans to continue single lane traffic with bike land and parking on both sides of the street?
have considered the same and Recommended that the order has been complied with.

Committee Members:
Terence Murphy
Joseph M. McGiverin
Todd McGee
Michael J. Sullivan
Murphy: On 20A, DPW is going to install speed monitoring equipment on O’Connor, suggested that if residents want speed humps, they would need a petition.
Hernandez: understands that there will be monitors, asked if the committee spoke on narrowing of street and that DPW trucks and emergency vehicles cant get through street when vehicles are parking in certain area.
Murphy: didn’t go over it except reducing speed.
Hernandez: stated she sent concern to Bob Peirent regarding issues with garbage trucks not going through. Asked if she needed to file again.
Murphy: stated he is willing to send back to committee and deal with single lane traffic issue. Still want to start petition with speed hump. Motion to send back to committee, seconded by McGee.
Vacon: suggested that if street is narrowed, that order can be filed to send to Ordinance to eliminate problem.
McGee: could comply with this order and file a new order with Ordinance.
---> Report of Committee received and recommendation adopted.

The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order requesting to have Board of Health present a follow up discussion on the trash issue that occurred at 182 Oak St back in August 26 2020 when two private landlords were in disagreement of who’s trash it was, and refused to pick up, therefore causing a huge mess, nuisance to surrounding neighbors and overall population of this great city. Specifically would like to learn as to what ultimatum has been given to these property owners, fee that the city incurred for finalizing the task.
have considered the same and Recommended that the order has been complied with.

Committee Members:
Terence Murphy
Joseph M. McGiverin
Todd McGee
Michael J. Sullivan
Murphy: 20B order was complied with, dispute between landlords, one landlord was not granting access for trash removal. They were trying for a private resolution city removed trash, has been lien placed on property until resolved, trash was picked up. Landlords still trying to work out issues. Don’t know if resolved, but trash has been removed. 450 pounds was picked up.
---> Report of Committee received and recommendation adopted.

The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that a Study be done at the intersection of W Franklin and Linden St to see what can be done to improve safety. It’s a dangerous intersection where multiple accidents have occurred on many occasions.
have considered the same and Recommended that the order has been complied with.

Committee Members:
Terence Murphy
Joseph M. McGiverin
Todd McGee
Michael J. Sullivan
Expected recommendation, taken up Oct 1st, got recommendation from McManus and Peirent that they don’t recommend a 4 way stop, but recognized that many accidents are caused by drivers not stopping at the intersection, and they will add a flashing stop signs. Asked Anderson-Burgos if this is acceptable.
Anderson-Burgos: confirmed acceptable.
---> Report of Committee received and recommendation adopted.

The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that a traffic mirror be placed on a pole near 397 Mountain Road so the resident can see approaching traffic when exiting their driveway. The resident reports near misses due to limited line of sight and drivers traveling above the speed limit. Additionally, that mirrors be considered at the intersection of Westfield Road and Hitchcock Street to provide more visibility for traffic turning onto Westfield Road.
have considered the same and Recommended that the order has been complied with.

Committee Members:
Terence Murphy
Joseph M. McGiverin
Todd McGee
Michael J. Sullivan
DPW looked at mirrors, could not agree because of potential city liability. Would be okay if property owner did it and accepted liability, still concerned about accidents, and did not recommend using mirrors at any city intersection.
---> Report of Committee received and recommendation adopted.

The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that our current illegal dumping ordinances be reviewed to determine ways in which the city can enforce them with more success. In addition, that the possibility of installing video cameras in alley “hot spots” is explored as a way to curb illegal dumping.
have considered the same and Recommended that the order has been complied with.

Committee Members:
Terence Murphy
Joseph M. McGiverin
Todd McGee
Michael J. Sullivan
Problem with culprit of illegal dumping. Sean Gonsalves (BOH) and PD discussed having problem finding when it happens, do arrest when they can find out. Landlords get assessed when they can’t find culprit. Can we avoid fining landlords who do not cause problem, maybe amend ordinance or just have DPW pick up.
---> Report of Committee received and recommendation adopted.

The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that the city engineer evaluate the area of Lower Westfield Road near the small bridge and make recommendations to improve safety for residents walking in that area.
have considered the same and Recommended that the order has been complied with.

Committee Members:
Terence Murphy
Joseph M. McGiverin
Todd McGee
Michael J. Sullivan
Engineer recognized there is a problem but to resolve would require a free-standing pedestrian bridge over railroad tracks, half million dollars would be the cost. If additional work was being done, that would be time to consider doing it. Does recognize dangerous place for pedestrians.
---> Report of Committee received and recommendation adopted.

The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that the legal department, police chief, fire chief, board of health, and state officials be invited to public safety committee to discuss and implement a plan or procedure to deal with negligent landlords in the city.
have considered the same and Recommended that the order has been complied with.

Committee Members:
Terence Murphy
Joseph M. McGiverin
Todd McGee
Michael J. Sullivan
discussion on additional actions against negligent landlords. Could consider changes to LLC for landlords. Sullivan talked about using police calls and fire calls for certain building when going to land courts to show issues. Indicated the need to fund demolition when building cannot be rehabbed.
---> Report of Committee received and recommendation adopted.

The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order the Apremont/Rock Valley intersection remains problematic with near misses reported. A stop sign at Apremont takes a right turn up the hill has been requested. It was found not to be proper, but the sign that is there on Apremont is confusing to drivers as to which road has the right of way if a driver proceeding from Apremont on to Rock Valley Road. Another request is to make the intersection a T so traffic would need to stop from three directions. Refer to public safety and our engineer.
have considered the same and Recommended that the order has been complied with.

Committee Members:
Terence Murphy
Joseph M. McGiverin
Todd McGee
Michael J. Sullivan
Determined that making intersection a T would reduce confusion. Goal is project is done with future construction. Traffic count would performed in the next few weeks.
Vacon: thanked chair for taking up orders, encouraged by info from McManus relative to T on Apremont. Stated it had been an issue for many years and was looking forward to
---> Report of Committee received and recommendation adopted.

Motion was made and seconded to suspend the necessary rules and take item 22A-22B as a package
The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred an order that the City Council approve the Resolution for the Certified Housing Development Incentive Program Project and local Tax Increment Exemption (TIE) Agreement with Hotel Jess, LLC for the redevelopment of 319-335 Main Street, Board of Assessors Map 033, Block 04, Parcels 002, 003, and 004 (known as “Hotel Jess”). (see attached resolution)
have considered the same and Recommended that the order be approved.

Committee Members:
David K. Bartley
Michael J. Sullivan
Peter R. Tallman
Howard B Greaney, Jr.
Gladys Lebron-Martinez
Bartley: stated that meeting on December 7th, with Marrero guiding discussion of details. Stated that Witman owns hotel Jess, which abuts train station. Mentioned that Witman owns many a properties in Holyoke. Project is restaurant or coffee shop on first floor. Four apartments in upper two floors. Observed it would not be handicap accessible, with an exemption. Some tax credits being used. Building is 140 years old. Building will be receiving a temporary tax credit, but would be paying in five years.
McGiverin: wanted to speak in favor of project. Talked about difference between TIE and TIF. Uniqueness of project, saving historic building, and return it to what it was. Gave a brief history lesson about immigrants staying at the Hotel Jess. Stated that restoration of buildings is good for city.
Tallman: great project for the city. Thanked Witman for investment in neighborhood and in city.
---> Report of Committee received and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0.

The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred an order that the City Council approve the Resolution for the Certified Project and the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Agreement with Hotel Jess, LLC for the redevelopment at 319-335 Main Street, Board of Assessors Map 033, Block 04, Parcels 002, 003, and 004. (see attached resolution)
have considered the same and Recommended that the order be approved.

Committee Members:
David K. Bartley
Michael J. Sullivan
Peter R. Tallman
Howard B Greaney, Jr.
Gladys Lebron-Martinez
---> Report of Committee received and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0.

The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred Order that the Honorable City Council accept the amendments to the Holyoke Redevelopment Authority’s Urban Renewal Plan, entitled “Connect. Construct. Plan.: A Plan for the Revitalization of Center City Holyoke” as presented. The City Council also authorizes the HRA to approve minor, non-substantial language changes to the urban renewal plan amendments, if such changes are recommended by the Department of Housing and Community Development, such as clarification of actions mentioned throughout the plan, defining of terms, and amending grammar.
have considered the same and Recommended that the amendments be accepted.

Committee Members:
David K. Bartley
Michael J. Sullivan
Peter R. Tallman
Howard B Greaney, Jr.
Gladys Lebron-Martinez
Bartley: observed that it had been a lengthy process, met in public hearing. Came down to removing certain properties that were added into urban renewal plan, private property owners had not wanted ot be part of plan. Main focus is South Holyoke Homes Project, creating affordable home ownership. Head of OPED planned to look broadly at urban renewal plan. Rest was supported, recommended that we approve the amendment, expansion of urban renewal plan.
McGiverin: appreciated OPED and Redevelopment Authority for amendments of plan. Focus on South Holyoke. They took concerns into consideration. Many years ago, City Council allowed existence of bodies with a lot of power and responsibility.
---> Report of Committee received and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0.

The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred Special Permit Application of Eric Taub for construction of a new duplex at 102 Beech St. Holyoke MA (Map 062 Block 02 Parcel 015). 5have considered the same and Recommended that the special permit be approved with the following conditions: 1. that the permit only applies to the current owner; 2. that the project must be commenced within two years of the permit being issued; 3. that there be four off-street parking spaces; 4. that the terms of the Building Commissioner's letter, dated November 30th, 2020, are fully implemented.

Committee Members:
David K. Bartley
Michael J. Sullivan
Peter R. Tallman
Howard B Greaney, Jr.
Gladys Lebron-Martinez
Bartley: motion to receive, adopt, and grant as conditioned. Stated it to be a good summary in revised order. Observed that project has already been approved, but there was glitch in notice requiring a second approval. Stated committee heard from an abutter, appreciated comments, but forum for relief was not the committee. Petitioner wants to build duplex; some concerns were discussed with setback. Commissioner participated in meeting; letter had to do with density of neighborhood. Petitioner felt that conditions added were acceptable. Observed that the project adds housing and would be a taxpaying entity out of what is currently a vacant lot.
---> Report of Committee received and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0.

The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred Special Permit Application of Jahjan LLC for Motor Vehicle Service Station Rebuild (Add 3rd pump) at 679-689 Main St. and 0 Beaulieu St. (Map 55 Block 0 Parcels 9, 9.1, and 9.2).
have considered the same and Recommended that the special permit be approved with the following condition: that if there is a third pump added, it would be mandated to be to the north of the current pumps.

Committee Members:
David K. Bartley
Michael J. Sullivan
Peter R. Tallman
Howard B Greaney, Jr.
Gladys Lebron-Martinez
Bartley: motion to receive, adopt, and grant the special permit. Stated it had been a good discussion with petitioner: interesting project with great potential. Close to 391 entrance. Stated the petitioner has plans to demolish the current convenience store, build a new 14,00 sq. ft. facility, and add the third pump.
Murphy: spoke in favor of investment. Also want to make sure city works with proposed project to assure it doesn’t create extensive roadblocks. Reiterated that the pump will only happen if the rest of project is approved and happens. Stated the petitioner made a commitment to invest $4.5 to $5 million.
Bartley: encouraged councilors to talk to petitioner and visit site. Expressed concern that the city not put too many roadblocks on the project. Observed that petitioner has plans to go beyond current property and acquiring additional property to develop.
---> Report of Committee received and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0.

The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred CPA FY21 Project Funding Recommendation.
have considered the same and Recommend the order has been complied with.

Committee Members:
David K. Bartley
Michael J. Sullivan
Peter R. Tallman
Howard B Greaney, Jr.
Gladys Lebron-Martinez
---> Received.

Motion was made and seconded to suspend the necessary rules and take items 22J and 22K as a package
The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred Legal Department opinion regarding a section of the OML complaint filed by James Fitzgerald
have considered the same and Recommend the order has been complied with and a request for the legal department to answer to Attorney General's Office.

Committee Members:
David K. Bartley
Michael J. Sullivan
Peter R. Tallman
Howard B Greaney, Jr.
Gladys Lebron-Martinez
Bartley: motion to receive and adopt the committee report, also authorizing law department to issue updated letter to Attorney General, saying OML complaint had no merit. Observed the context of the complaint. Stated that enough had been said during the committee meeting, laid out timeline of communication to complainant advising of opportunity to attend committee meeting and Council meeting, and observing that no response had been received. Questioned statements disparaging integrity of councilor and council.
---> Report of Committee received and recommendation adopted.

The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred Special Permit Applications of Holyoke Landing LLC for a Drive-Thru Facility (Fast Casual Restaurant/Fast-Food 7.1.6) and a Drive-Thru Facility (Bank – Drive-Up Teller/ATM 7.1.6) at Lower Westfield Rd. (Map 117 Block 00 Parcel 005).
have considered the same and Recommend the Special Permit be approved with the following conditions:

Conditions:
1. Building #3 hours would be 7am-7pm, Monday through Saturday for teller and drive up for the ATM be 24 hours, 7 days a week
2. Building #1 hours would be 5am-11pm, Monday-Saturday, 6am-9pm on Sundays.

Committee Members:
David K. Bartley
Michael J. Sullivan
Peter R. Tallman
Howard B Greaney, Jr.
Gladys Lebron-Martinez
Bartley: motion to receive, adopt, and grant the special permit application. In this case, because of comments from Planning Board, petitioner had to make adjustments. Across from Barnes and Noble, south of old Pier 1 Imports. We granted the permits with conditions on two buildings: 1. That for building 3, the hours for the bank teller drive up would be 7am-7pm Monday through Saturday, and the drive-through for the ATM would be 24 hours a day, and 2. That for building 1, the drive through hours for restaurant would be 5am-11pm Monday through Saturday and 6am-9pm on Sundays. Third building (building 2) was approved last time and didn’t have any adjustments this time. Stated the project to be a significant investment for Holyoke. Some concerns were discussed about merging traffic with Whiting Farms Rd and from around the corner off of 91. Petitioner plans to put in appropriate signage to direct traffic coming off of 91 into proper lanes. Stated there were great questions from committee about bike racks, access for pedestrians, delivery trucks, traffic volume, number of parking spaces, etc. Clarified there would be a variance on the number of parking spots.
Greaney: stated it would be a great project for city, generating good tax revenue.
Vacon: spoke in favor of project, revision has made flow into site better than before.
Tallman: stated support for project, mentioning discussion alleviated concerns about traffic flow.
---> Report of Committee received and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0.

ORDERS AND TRANSFERS

ANDERSON-BURGOS Ordered, that Ordered, that the manhole cover over the sewer drain in front of 203 West Franklin St be replaced. The resident at this location as well as others in the area have reported that it appears to be damaged and degrading. They have also reported that the damage to it causes drainage issues, resulting in excess water on the sidewalk and onto the property during heavy rain.
---> Received and adopted. Referred to the DPW.

BARTLEY Ordered, that The DPW, Suez and City Engineer develop a plan to regrade the top of West Glen Street. Due to the current grading, water is not flowing to the catch basins resulting in dangerous road conditions.  Once a plan is developed, please consult with the Mayor and City Council to implement financing.  The departments in this Order and the residents in that area (including the south end of Martin St) are aware of the needs.  Refer to Public Safety and to Finance.
---> Received and referred to the Public Safety Committee and Finance, DPW, Suez, City Engineer.

LEBRON-MARTINEZ Ordered, that That a handicap sign be placed in front of 77 Elm St. for Melissa Smith.
---> Received and referred to the Ordinance Committee.

MCGEE Ordered, that Ordered, that the City Council set the minimum residential factor for FY 2021.
---> Received and laid on the table.

Motion was made and seconded to suspend the necessary rules and take items 29, 33, 34 as a packagae
MCGIVERIN Ordered, that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2021, TWO THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED SIXTY AND 28/100 Dollars ($2,760.28) as follows:
FROM:
11412-53190 EDUCATION & TRAINING $1,000.00
11412-53430 ADVERTISING 200.00
11412-53010 PROFESSIONAL ASSESSMENT 500.00
11412-54200 OFFICE & PROFESSIONAL SUPPLIES 1,060.28
TOTAL: $2,760.28
TO:
11411-51500 VACATION BUYBACK $2,760.28
TOTAL: $2,760.28

To the City Council:
I hereby recommend the passage of the above order at the meeting of your Council to be held Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

Alex B Morse, Mayor
---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee.

MCGIVERIN Ordered, that in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 44 Sec. 53A, the City Council hereby accepts the provisions of the "FY2021 MUNICIPAL ROAD SAFETY PROGRAM " grant and authorizes the establishment of a Fund or other method appropriate for the accounting of the receipts and expenditures of all resources associated with the administration of said grant.
To the City Council:
I hereby recommend the passage of the above order at the meeting of your Council to be held Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

Alex B Morse, Mayor
---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee.

MCGIVERIN Ordered, that that in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 44 Sec. 53A, the City Council hereby accepts the provisions of the "FY2021 EDWARD BYRNE MEMORIAL JUSTICE ASSISTANCE (JAG)" grant and authorizes the establishment of a Fund or other method appropriate for the accounting of the receipts and expenditures of all resources associated with the administration of said grant.

To the City Council:
I hereby recommend the passage of the above order at the meeting of your Council to be held Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

Alex B Morse, Mayor
---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee.

 

MCGIVERIN Ordered, that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2021, THIRTEEN THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED SIXTY FOUR AND 08/100 Dollars ($13,864.08) as follows:
FROM:
12201-51105 FIREFIGHTER $8,570.14
12201-51104 LIEUTENANT 5,293.94
TOTAL: $13,864.08
TO:
12201-51180 INJURED ON DUTY $13,864.08
TOTAL: $13,864.08

To the City Council:
I hereby recommend the passage of the above order at the meeting of your Council to be held Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

Alex B Morse, Mayor
---> Passed two readings and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0.

MCGIVERIN Ordered, that 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.
---> Received and referred to the Development and Governmental Relations Committee.

MCGIVERIN Ordered, that that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2021, TEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED EIGHT DOLLARS AND 74/100 Dollars ($10,508.74) as follows:
FROM:
12101-51105 SERGEANTS $6,591.96
12101-51107 PATROLMEN 3,916.78
TOTAL: $10,508.74
TO:
12101-51180 INJURED ON DUTY $10,508.74
TOTAL: $10,508.74

To the City Council:
I hereby recommend the passage of the above order at the meeting of your Council to be held Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

Alex B Morse, Mayor
---> Passed two readings and Adopted on a call of the roll of the yeas and nays --Yeas 13--Nays 0--Absent 0.

 

MURPHY Ordered, that Ordered that the mayor and the receiver meet with the finance committee to update the city council on the potential of receiving MSBA approval for building one new middle school with MSBA assistance.  Please provide any update on when the city might know the status of the proposal, and the financial implications of any approval.

---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee and Mayor and Receiver.

MURPHY Ordered, that Ordered that the DPW paint traffic lines dividing the two southerly lanes on Main Street from Jackson Street to the 391 traffic light.

---> Received and adopted. Referred to the DPW.

MURPHY Ordered, that Ordered that the receiver appear before the joint committee to discuss concerns about students potentially falling behind grade level, and plans being designed to address that once students are fully back into the classroom.  Is there a potential, especially in the crucial early grade levels, that students might need to stay within their current grade or receive extensive additional instruction in order to catch up to grade level?  What impacts might this have on classroom size, the need for additional teachers, and funding?
---> Received and referred to the Joint Committee of School Committee and City Council.

MURPHY, Sullivan Ordered, that Ordered that the police and fire chiefs appear before the finance committee to document how much of the police overtime total of $266,682 expended through the end of October was to cover for vacations, sick time and injured on duty status and grant related details..  The same information is requested for the fire department and the expenditure of $157,305 through October.  In both cases, how many persons per shift being absent leads to the use of overtime?  The goal of this order is to determine if we are at our most cost effective staffing levels without jeopardizing public safety.
---> Received and referred to the Finance Committee.

MURPHY Ordered, that Ordered that the HG&E examine the possibility of putting lighting which would shine into the alleyway between High and Maple Streets, one from Sargeant Street and one from Hampshire Street.  If that is possible to do without causing lighting to shine into apartments or homes, then please install at earliest convenience.  The alleyway has had serious concerns with trash dumping and drug usage.
---> Received and referred to the Public Safety Committee.

MURPHY, Hernandez, Lisi Ordered, that Ordered that the mayor and the health director appear before that public safety committee to provide an update on the potential for the city to establish a homeless shelter, potentially at the War Memorial Building.
---> Received and referred to the Public Safety Committee.

LATE FILED ORDERS & COMMUNICATIONS

From CPA, Budget Overview
---> Received and referred to the Development and Governmental Relations Committee.

From CPA, Holyoke CPA Budget Update
---> Received and referred to the Development and Governmental Relations Committee.

HERNANDEZ Ordered, that Order that the City Council adopt a similar resolution to that of the attached from Springfield. The committee should invite Councilor Adam Gomez and Melissa Mark Veverito to our next committee meeting for a discussion.
Hernandez: clarified it is for the self-determination act for Puerto Rico, introduced by Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez (NY-7) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) which puts Puerto Ricans in charge of their own future. Stated she looks forward to working with committee to mold item and modify it to Holyoke representation.
Lisi: pointed that there is “whereas” language that could be worked on, asked Admin to work with Hernandez to tailor the order.
---> Received and referred to the Development and Governmental Relations Committee.

 

 

Adjourn at 12:05 PM.
A true record
ATTEST:

______________________________
City Clerk


City Hall
City Council Chambers
Close window