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Holyoke City Council Meeting December 5, 2023

Dec 5 2023

7:00 pm City Hall Holyoke

536 Dwight St, Holyoke 01040

Posted December 1, 2023, 12:50 PM

vídeo en español

Status updates for orders

Meeting will take place at Holyoke City Hall, 536 Dwight St
and can also be accessed remotely via www.zoom.us
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85914960000?pwd=QVBqSkJvd0pSZENmNFdDbnVXTnVTUT09
Meeting ID: 859 1496 0000 Meeting Passcode: 657908 or by call in at 1 (646) 558-8656 with same Meeting ID and Passcode.

Live Spanish interpretation will be available on local access channel 15 using the television’s SAP option, through the live stream on the city website, as well as on the Zoom feed by clicking the interpretation option and choosing Spanish.

AGENDA FOR THE CITY COUNCIL –
DECEMBER 5, 2023
7:00 PM

 

LAID ON THE TABLE

1. The Committee on Development and Governmental Relations to whom was referred an order Special Permit Application of Delfina Saillant per 7.2.9 to convert basement into a livable studio space at 20 Pearl Street Awaiting disposition

2. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2024, SIX THOUSAND AND 00/100 Dollars ($6,000.00) as follows:
FROM:
12101-51117 E911 DISPATCHERS $6,000.00
TOTAL: $6,000.00
TO:
12101-51910 STIPENDS $6,000.00
TOTAL: $6,000.00 Recommended that the order be adopted.

PUBLIC COMMENT

COMMUNICATIONS

3. From Mayor Joshua A. Garcia, letter appointing Mr. Paul Burns-Johnson to serve as a member of the Board of Appeals for the City of Holyoke: Mr. Burns-Johnson will replace Ms. Mary Monahan and will serve Ms. Monahans remainder term; said term will expire July 1, 2024.

4. From Mayor Joshua A. Garcia letter appointing Mr. Axel Fontanez, 71 Lynch Dr. to serve as an Associate of the Board of Appeals for the City of Holyoke: Mr. Fontanez will serve a three year term; said term will expire on July 1, 2026.

5. From Tanya Wdowiak, Auditor YTD Sewer Budget Reports.

6. From Tanya Wdowiak, Auditor, YTD General Fund Report.

7. From Brenna Murphy McGee, MMC money cuts from FY2024 Supplemental Budget.

8. From Anthony Soto, Receiver/Superintendent of Holyoke Public Schools, letter re: Agenda Item 1, Financial Literacy Course.

9. Communication from Department of Environmental Protection re: Draft Waterways License, Holyoke Rows.

10. From PERAC, Appropriation for Fiscal Year 2025.

11. From Holyoke Redevelopment Authority Executive meeting minutes of February 17, March 17, October 27, 2021, February 15, May 17, and June 21, 2023.

12. From Holyoke Redevelopment Authority regular meeting minutes of March 20, 2019 and May 18, 2022.

13. From Holyoke Redevelopment Authority regular meeting minutes of September 20, October 18, 2023.

14. From Historic District Commission meeting minutes of September 14, October 12, 2023.

15. From Holyoke Historical Commission minutes of September 11, 2023.

PETITIONS

16. Petition of a renewal for a Home occupation for William T. Lyle, 79 Merrick Ave for a Electrician Business.

17. Petition of a renewal of a Home occupation for Daniel LiBoissonnault, 267 Southampton Rd. for a Plant Based/Non Dairy business.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

18. Ordinance Committee Reports (if any)

18A. The Committee on Joint Committee of City Council and School to whom was referred an order That the DPW paint a crosswalk at the corner of Jarvis Ave. and West Cherry St, crossing over Jarvis Ave. Recommended that the order be referred to the DPW to put in a crosswalk.

18B. The Committee on Joint Committee of City Council and School to whom was referred an order that the city council work with the mayor and school superintendent to address the reinstatement of bus services for Lyman Terrace as soon as possible, as a matter of public safety. This has been a service they have received for the past 20 years. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

18C. The Committee on Joint Committee of City Council and School to whom was referred an order that the joint committee of school and council invite in the receiver to discuss and provide information on the Financial literacy programs fr both high school campuses. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

18D. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order that a review of the ordinance on the Soldiers Memorial Commission be done to update the language. Recommended that the order be adopted.

18E. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order that Ordinance 2-421 be amended to include all public hearings so that the public has an opportunity to truly participate in their government and to advance transparency. Recommended that the order be adopted.

18F. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order that the City Council add a section for Battery Storage Facilities to the Zoning Ordinance (Section TBD) to reflect technology advancements and future need for such installations; new facilities will be reviewed through Section 10.0, Major Site Plan Review. Recommended that the order be adopted.

18G. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order With community support, Order that our trash receptacle ordinance be updated to reflect the following:
Update to Ordinance Chapter 74 Section 2:
(a) Residential rubbish receptacles.
(1) 96 gallon, rodent proof, water tight, residential rubbish receptacles are provided by the City. One receptacle is provided to each residential unit or household. Additional containers are not available and cannot be acquired. Lost or damaged containers must be purchased from the City/DPW by residents at the current rate. A smaller receptacle may available by request. Considerations are made on a case by case basis and depend on need as determined by the disabilities commission/senior advocate/ personal / health advocate?
&
(3) Should the number of containers necessary to contain all refuse at a given residential location exceed 1 95 Gallon receptacle on a weekly basis, the superintendent of public works will have the right to require the property to utilize an alternate method of collection. Recommended that the order be adopted.

18H. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order that street vendors who have received a license may be granted a renewal of the license for the same location without a hearing when all required approvals are presented with the application and any required fees/taxes are paid Recommended that the order be adopted.

18I. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order City Council review the law for the enforcement of rights of reverter and extensions of reverter. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

18J. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order Law Dept provide the City Council an inventory of all outstanding rights of reverter with parcel id numbers, address, what the current reverter expiration date is if it has one, provide a summary of the condition that the reverter is based on (i.e. change of use (such as if no longer used as a golf course) or if no development by X date). Recommended that the order has been complied with.

18K. The Committee on Ordinance to whom was referred an order With Community support, Order to increase trash can minimum to 50 gallons for municipal pickup service, as our DPW accommodates piles of trash bags en lieu of required current 35 gallon size. This in an effort to increase can use participation in order to mitigate the health hazards of torn and rummaged through piled bags for pickup. Recommended that the order be given a leave to withdraw.

19. Finance Committee Reports (if any)

19A. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 44 s.53A, the City Council hereby accepts the donation of a new vehicle for the Council on Aging, valued at approximately $45,000, from The Friends of the Holyoke Council on Aging, and authorizes the establishment of a Fund or other method appropriate for the accounting of the receipts and expenditures of said donation and further authorizes the use of said proceeds in accordance with the wishes of the donor. Awaiting disposition

19B. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 44 Sec. 53A, the City Council hereby accepts the provisions of the “2023 COMMUNITY PLANNING GRANT, $200,000, NO MATCH” 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. Awaiting disposition

19C. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 44 Sec. 53A, the City Council hereby accepts the provisions of the “FY2024 MUNICIPAL ROAD SAFETY PROGRAM, $39,880, NO MATCH” 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. Awaiting disposition

19D. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 44 Sec. 53A, the City Council hereby accepts the provisions of the “PARTNERS FOR A HEALTHIER COMMUNITY DBA PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE OF WESTERN MA (PHC/PHIWM), $10,000, NO MATCH” 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. Awaiting disposition

19E. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that the ballot question approved by the City Council be placed on the ballot on November 4, 2024 as referenced in the 9/26/23 decision by Judge Mulqueen.
Ballot Question
Shall the City of Holyoke amend the current Community Preservation Act real estate surcharge, as established in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of Chapter 44B of the Massachusetts General Laws, and which amendment of such surcharge is permissible pursuant to Section 16 of Chapter 44B of the Massachusetts General Laws, and approved by its legislative body, from 1.5% to 1.0%, a summary of which appears below?
(with revised dates)
8
Community Preservation Act Ballot Question and Draft Summary
Ballot Question
Shall the City of Holyoke amend the current Community Preservation Act real estate surcharge, as established in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of Chapter 44B of
the Massachusetts General Laws, and which amendment of such surcharge is permissible pursuant to Section 16 of Chapter 44B of the Massachusetts General Laws, and approved by its legislative body, from 1.5% to 1.0%, a summary of which appears below?
Summary of Question
On October 3, 2023, the City Council voted, without taking a position, to place a question on the ballot which will allow voters to reduce the current Community Preservation Act real estate surcharge from 1.5% to 1.0%.. The question will be approved, and the real estate surcharge shall be so reduced, if a majority of the voters voting on the ballot question
vote “yes”. The question will not be approved, and the real estate surcharge shall remain the same, if a majority of the voters voting on the ballot question vote “no”
On November 8, 2016, the voters of the City of Holyoke voted to accept Sections 3 to 7 of Chapter 44B, known as the Community Preservation Act (hereinafter referred to as the “Act’*). By accepting the Act, a funding source was established to enable the City of Holyoke to: (1) acquire, create and preserve open space, which includes land for parks, playgrounds and athletic fields; (2) acquire, preserve and rehabilitate historic resources such as historic community buildings and artifacts; and (3) acquire, create, and preserve
and support community housing to help local families meet their housing needs. By accepting the Act, a surcharge of 1.5% was assessed on real estate on an annual basis beginning in Fiscal Year 2018. Exempted from the surcharge are: (1) property owned and occupied as a domicile by any person who would qualify for low income housing or low or moderate income senior housing in the City of Holyoke, as defined in Section 2 of the Act; (2) $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of residential real property; and (3) $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of class three, commercial property, and class four, industrial property as defined in section 2A of said chapter 59. A taxpayer receiving a regular property tax abatement or exemption will also receive a pro rate reduction in the surcharge. Any taxpayer seeking a low income or senior exemption shall apply for said exemption annually to the City of Holyoke. Awaiting disposition

19F. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2024, FIFTY THOUSAND AND 00/100 Dollars ($50,000) as follows:
FROM:
12101-51117 E911 DISPATCHERS $50,000
TOTAL: $50,000
TO:
12102-54221 SUPPLIES – AMMUNITION $50,000
TOTAL: $50,000 Awaiting disposition

19G. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2024, ONE HUNDRED SIXTY FOUR THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED NINETY FIVE AND 27/100 Dollars ($164,695.27) as follows:
FROM:
8811-10400 CAPITAL STABILIZATION $164,695.27
TOTAL: $164,695.27
TO:
16503-58000 PARKS-CAPITAL OUTLAY EQUIPMENT $164,695.27
TOTAL: $164,695.27 Awaiting disposition

19H. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2024, SIXTY THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND 00/100 Dollars ($60,500) as follows:
FROM:
8811-10400 CAPITAL STABILIZATION $60,500
TOTAL: $60,500
TO:
14803-58004 PARKING CAPITAL OUTLAY-VEHICLES $60,500
TOTAL: $60,500 Awaiting disposition

19I. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that there be and is hereby raised and appropriated in the fiscal year 2024, ONE MILLION AND 00/100 Dollars ($1,000,000) as follows:
FROM:
XXX-XXX 2024 TAX LEVY $1,000,000
TOTAL: $1,000,000
TO:
12992-57806 SPECIAL ARTICLE-EZEKIEL’S PLAN $1,000,000
TOTAL: $1,000,000 Awaiting disposition

19J. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order to use $3,180,000 (3 million one hundred eighty thousand and 00/100 dollars) of the ARPA revenue loss as a funding source to the FY2024 budget. Awaiting disposition

20. Public Safety Committee Reports (if any)

20A. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order From Mayor Joshua A Garcia, Proposal for Ezekiel’s Plan: Operation Safe Streets Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20B. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that an RFP be created to study a community responder model type program that is outside of the Police Dept but works in collaboration with that department as one of several contributing partners. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20C. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that city council invite representatives of the Sheriff department into public safety to present recidivism and release data specifically to Holyoke. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20D. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that employees at the Holyoke Police Community Center come into public safety and present on the services offered as well as any other projects they maybe working on that is important for the community to be aware of. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20E. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that the Board of Health, Police, or appropriate department let us know the process of addressing noise complaints, particularly when it comes to businesses operating their heavy machinery and making lots of noise as early as 5:30 am. The residents of Ward 1 say they have submitted complaints and nothing has been done to remedy the situation. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20F. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that the city of Holyoke form a working group focused on developing solutions to mitigate rampant ongoing issues of vagrancy on High st. It has been recently brought to my attention that a bus shelter will be removed due to some of these ongoing issues. How many more bus shelters will get removed? Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20G. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that the Holyoke Hub come into public safety and present and updates they may have on the work they have been doing since the Hubs inception. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20H. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that the Mayor create and fund a Public Safety Department, suggesting a beginning budget of $500,000 for FY24. Refer to Mayor, Public Safety. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

20I. The Committee on Public Safety to whom was referred an order that the mayor, public health department, and sheriff department, veteran services department come into public safety to converse about the possibility of developing a Returning Citizens department under the public health. Recommended that the order has been complied with.

21. Public Service Committee Reports (if any)

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

23. Charter and Rules Committee Reports (if any)

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

MOTIONS, ORDERS AND RESOLUTIONS

25. PUELLO — That the board of health / health Commission please be invited to attend to discuss if changes are possible to the changes to the Tobacco license issuance policy that supports common sense economic growth on a case by case basis and also protects public health. That they also please discuss syringe access and whether common sense changes can be made. Ex: 1 for 1 exchange

26. VACON — That we amend our charter and ordinances to change from an elected Mayor to a City Manager/Chief Administrative Financial Officer, appointed by the City Council.

27. ANDERSON-BURGOS — Order that Dillon Ave be added to the list of streets that need to be repaved. Adopt and send to DPW.

28. ANDERSON-BURGOS — Ordered, that a proclamation be presented to Dave Beaudoin, Superintendent of Outdoor Works, who will be retiring after 20 years of dedicated service to the city.

29. GIVNER — Ordered, that a streetlight be installed on the north side of Locust at the interseciton with Appleton. At night, the intersection is very dark and drivers cannot see pedestrians crossing the street.

30. MCGEE — Ordered, that all ordinance/charter references to an Assistant Superintendent of Public Works be updated to Assistant Director of Public Works

31. MCGIVERIN — that in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 44 Sec. 53A, the City Council hereby accepts the provisions of the “FY2024 EDWARD J. BYRNE MEMORIAL JUSTICE ASSISTANCE GRANT, $49,920, NO MATCH ” 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.

32. MCGIVERIN — that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2024, FIVE THOUSAND AND 00/100 Dollars ($5,000) as follows:

FROM:
11611-51210 ELECTIONS OFFICERS $5,000
TOTAL: $5,000
TO:
11612-52700 EQUIPMENT/BUILDING RENTALS $5,000
TOTAL: $5,000

33. MCGIVERIN — that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2024, TWENTY EIGHT THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FORTY NINE AND 83/100 Dollars ($28,749.83) as follows:

FROM:
12101-51105 SERGEANTS $12,591.80
12101-51107 PATROLMEN 16,158.03
TOTAL: $28,749.83
TO:
12101-51180 INJURED ON DUTY $28,749.83
TOTAL: $28,749.83

34. MCGIVERIN — that there be and is hereby appropriated by transfer in the fiscal year 2024, THIRTY THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED FORTY AND 00/100 Dollars ($30,240) as follows:

FROM:
8811-10400 CAPITAL STABILIZATION $30,240
TOTAL: $30,240
TO:
16933-58001 WAR MEMORIAL-OUTLAY-BLDG IMPROVE $30,240
TOTAL: $30,240

35. MCGIVERIN — That the City Council subsidize the revenue of the sewer budget from the tax levy in FY2024 by $1,039,680 (one million thirty nine thousand six hundred eighty dollars and 00/100) and remainder funded by sewer receipts.

36. MURPHY-ROMBOLETTI — Ordered that the position of Crime Analyst be created and added to Ordinance Schedule A.

37. MURPHY-ROMBOLETTI — An order to declare Parcel Holyoke Assessors Map 212, Block 00, Parcel 001, Easthampton Road, Holyoke, MA as surplus property and sell to the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game with
an address of 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 620, Boston, MA 02114 for $270,000.00.

LATE FILED ORDERS AND COMMUNICATIONS

A. MCGEE, MCGIVERIN — Order that the City Council vote to set a MRF for (FY24) tax classification
*Added December 4, 2023, 12:26 PM

B. RIVERA_I — Order that the city council review noise ordinance and require a decibel meter reading before a ticket can be submitted or for music to be asked to be turned down. It is my understanding that the department has the necessary devices to measure readings and we want to be sure that they are being utilized in case citations are challenged in court.
*Added December 4, 2023, 12:26 PM

C. RIVERA_I — Order that the city forester cutback or trims trees on Main st. beginning at the Cabot St. intersection and ending at the Jackson St. intersection.
*Added December 4, 2023, 12:26 PM

D. RIVERA_I — Order that the city work on contracting with a consultant in order to move forward with vital traffic orders as well as others that are being held up due to the absence of a city engineer.
*Added December 4, 2023, 12:26 PM

E. RIVERA_I — Order that the police department present an update on the goals or steps taken to address some of the concerns raised out of the MRI audit.
*Added December 4, 2023, 12:26 PM

F. TALLMAN — Ordered, that Sean Sheedy from DPW review maintenance issues/needs at the Senior Center.
*Added December 4, 2023, 8:31 PM

G. The Committee on Finance to whom was referred an order that Veolia provides the estimated cost for street sweeping for the next fiscal year for the purpose of decreasing the sewer rate required for the sewer enterprise fund. This is a citywide service that is properly paid from the general fund. A written response is acceptable.
Recommended that the order has been complied with.
*Added December 4, 2023, 9:20 PM

 

Addendum:

LATE FILES FROM PREVIOUS MEETING

A. BARTLEY, PUELLO — Ordered, (Forgotten by Clerks Office) The DGR committee meet with city officials responsible for managing our parking enforcement staff. The staff has been repeatedly threatened with physical violence and subject to beratement from the public and have privately paid for body cameras. Send a communication advising the council of policies and procedures to ensure employee safety in advance of the subcommittee meeting.

B. MCGEE — Ordered, Order that a Tree be planted out front of city hall near the Dwight side in order to have a Permanent tree for lighting purposes.

C. VACON — Ordered, That a light be added to the crosswalk at Homestead & Sterling (like at Kane). Drivers are not stopping when pedestrians are in the crosswalk.

D. GIVNER — Ordered, Per constituent request, order to install a handicap sign for Natalia Munoz at 247 Walnut St

E. MCGEE — Ordered that the City Council invite in all the newly elected Councilors-Elect.

F. MCGIVERIN — Ordered, that there be and is hereby raised and appropriated in the fiscal year 2024, ONE MILLION AND 00/100 Dollars ($1,000,000) as follows:
FROM:
XXX-XXX 2024 TAX LEVY $1,000,000
TOTAL: $1,000,000
TO:
12992-57806 SPECIAL ARTICLE-EZEKIEL’S PLAN $1,000,000
TOTAL: $1,000,000

G. From Tanya Wdowiak, City Auditor, 2024 Updated Budget Book Summary, Page 27, 33, 35 per 11-15-2023 Finance Committee Mtg

H. From Tanya Wdowiak, City Auditor, 2024 Updated Tax Recap 11-21-2023

I. MCGEE — That a stipend be added to Ordinance Salary Schedule C for $10,000.00 for the duties associated with Assistant Director of Public Works.
The additional duties for the Asst Director are as outlined in city ordinance Section 2-231 which outlines several responsibilities beyond the engineering tasks assigned.

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

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Jeffery Anderson-Burgos
Administrative Assistant to the City Council

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