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Holyoke City Council Meeting

Dec 15 2020

7:00 pm Remote by Zoom

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

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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

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