Monthly Archives: October 2015

Preview: City Council agenda (October 27)

The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday at 7pm. The agenda is here. It is a pretty-low key agenda, with several interesting finance items.

  • Boards and Commissions: Robert Bureau will be appointed to the Commission on Disabilities.
  • Sidewalks: Our 2016 budget allots $1.6 million for sidewalk repairs and ADA improvements. There’s a report to the Council this week; it will presumably go to a committee before being returned to the full Council for any needed votes.
  • Residential Street Resurfacing: We’ve budgeted $6 million over the next 2 years for this. A detailed list of estimated street repair costs will go to the Public Works Committee, who will presumably decide on priorities and return their recommendations to the full Council.
  • Six-figure Finance Items: $150,408.00 to be transferred from Water Capital Equipment account to another, “to allow for the purchase and future payment of a vehicle and equipment”; $382,993.62 from one account to another for citywide/school energy improvement; applying for $225,000.00 state grant from the State Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund FY16 Appropriation “to provide career pathway training to area residents in manufacturing”; applying for $109,857.00 state grant to fund the Medical Reserve Corps program, which recruits, trains, and deploys medical and non-medical volunteers for public health emergencies; applying for $533,676.48 state grant for anti-gang and anti-youth violence programs. These programs involve both the police and youth organizations. We got a grant last year for this too–this year’s grant request is 10% higher.
  • Bond Rating: Moody’s continues to rate our municipal bonds Aa3, good but not great.
  • Finance Committee: At some point this meeting will recess to a Finance Committee meeting. As part of this, they’ll be receiving the City Assessor’s report on how much taxable property there now is and some info on possible 2016 tax rates. Is there any chance they’ll discuss this the week before an election, rather than tabling it till the week after?

Preview: City Council agenda (October 20)

The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday at 7pm. The agenda is here. It is a pretty-low key agenda.

  • Library Board: The Council will vote two new members onto the library board.
  • TIFs: The Economic Development Committee wants the City Manager to come up with a formal policy regarding Tax Incentive Financing, the tax breaks the city sometimes uses to encourage new development.
  • Refugees: Worcester is eligible for a $180,000 grant from the state that we’d pass on to Workforce Central for refugee English classes and job placements. This item came up at the last meeting, but Councilor Lukes put the brakes on it, delaying it till this week. Now Councilor Lukes has a couple other refugee-related items, one asking how and whether our community is consulted before refugees are placed here. If you are interested in the refugee issue, this could be a good week to make a brief statement.
  • A Town/A City: Councilor Bergman has an item asking the city to plan an event for February 29, 2016, marking our 168th anniversary as a city. Since we were incorporated as a city on a Leap Day, we don’t often have a good day to celebrate our city.
  • Gun Crime Evictions: If someone renting an apartment is arrested for a serious drug crime, the landlord receives notice from the city that, under Mass. Gen. Laws Chapter 139 Section 20, the landlord could face criminal prosecution if that landlord doesn’t take action to evict that tenant. Councilor Bergman has an item asking us to expand this to include serious firearms crimes as well.