City Council Preview, January 22, 2013

This week:

  1. Proposal: Alternative to 911
  2. Supporting Youth Sports Post-Tag Days
  3. Skate Rink Being Used
  4. Renegotiating Wormtown Brewing + Union Station Deal
  5. Hiring City Residents on TIF Projects
  6. Market Rate Housing
  7. Medical Marijuana
  8. School Lunches
  9. School Committee Legislative Breakfast

Preview: City Council, January 22

6pm(!), 3rd Floor, City Hall

  1. Alternative to 911 for Emergencies: Beloved gadfly Jo Hart is petitioning the city to create an alternative to 911, so if you were dealing with crisis or were faced with someone in a crisis situation, you could get help and advice which might not require police or emergency personnel.
  2. 8d. Jo Hart request City Council work with the City Manager to establish a new method for emergency social help that does not require 911; a new and appropriate response via a new 111 telephone number, 24/7, to respond to requests for assistance either by responding personally or by giving information on the telephone; information that a stranger on the street does not have and is in no position to judge what should be done to help.

  3. Helping Youth Athletics in a Post-Tag-Day World: In another couple weeks anti-panhandling restrictions will kick in and it will be much trickier for schoolkids to solicit donations at busy intersections. The City Manager wants the City Council to spend $40,000 of city money on athletic facility maintenance.
  4. 9.29.c Recommend that Forty Thousand Dollars And No Cents ($40,000.00) be transferred from Account #900-92000, City Manager’s Contingency, to the following accounts: Twenty Five Thousand Dollars and No Cents ($25,000.00) to Account #720-92000 Parks Ordinary Maintenance and Fifteen Thousand Dollars and No Cents ($15,000.00) Account #500-92000 Worcester Public Schools Ordinary Maintenance for various resources to support youth athletics citywide.

  5. The Skate Rink Is Being Used: This has already been reported in the press, but the City Manager will officially tell the Council that from Nov 30-Jan 11, 7,000 people used the skate rink behind City Hall. By Feb 24, when the rink closes for the season, an estimated 10,000 will have used it. As a point of comparison, the downtown library sees 1500 patrons a day, give or take.
  6. 9.32.a Transmitting Informational Communication Relative to Activity and Usage at the Worcester Common Oval.

  7. Rescinding a Loan Order: Wormtown Brewing Co. is still expected to move to Union Station, but the city (via its Worcester Redevelopment Authority) has renegotiated the finances of the move-in and no longer needs $400,000 for the deal.
  8. 11a. Recommend that the Loan Order in the amount of Four Hundred Thousand Dollars And No Cents ($400,000.00), approved by this Council on October 30, 2012, for the purchase of equipment to be appropriated to Account #91C7163A, Union Station Capital Equipment, be rescinded.

  9. Hiring City Residents for Tax Increment Financed Projects: Sometimes big projects get a tax incentive called TIF; more than a year ago the Council tabled this proposal to get TIF projects to hire Worcesterites whenever possible. Not sure why it’s back now.
  10. 12a. RESOLUTION of Mayor Joseph C. O’Brien – That the City Council of the City of Worcester hereby goes on record in support of the Administration’s efforts to negotiate the maximum hiring of local residents in Tax Increment Financing agreements and other tools used to attract business and to expand our tax base.

  11. More Market Rate Housing: Another old, tabled item resurfaces, this one about supporting market-rate vs. “affordable” housing in new projects.
  12. 12d. REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Upon the Order of Councilor Konstantina B. Lukes – Request City Council support more diverse new housing development with an emphasis on market-rate housing with a maximum of 10% affordable units if there are going to any units available for development in the downtown Worcester area: recommend Order be placed on file.

  13. Medical Marijuana: Councilor Lukes does not want medical marijuana dispensaries in Worcester. She had a couple items on the agenda last week raising these concerns. The Council “filed” (ignored) one of these and tabled the other. Here’s the tabled item, back on the agenda.
  14. 12f. ORDER of Councilor Konstantina B. Lukes – Request City Manager report whether medical marijuana dispensing sites can be restricted by local zoning ordinances or state regulatory means to established pharmacies.

Upcoming School Committee Meetings

  1. Teaching, Learning, and Student Supports Subcommittee Meeting: January 22 at 5:30pm (our subcommittees meet in the 4th floor of the Durkin Administration Building). School lunch policies (length and conditions under which they operate), internships for college students, and English Language Learning locations are on that agenda.

  2. Legislative Breakfast: January 25 at 8am. This is a public meeting, since a quorum of the Committee will be there. This is in the All-Purpose room at Worcester Technical High School. On that [agenda](http://worcesterschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=2731970: an update on school buildings, preschool, and FY14 budget.

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