Preview: City Council agenda (May 24)

The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday at 7pm. The agenda is here. This week: Library board, SWIP, properties, little motorcycles. Pretty short. If you know of anyone else who’d like to get our weekly preview via email, the link is here.

  • Library Board: Someone will be elected to the vacant spot on the Library Board.
  • “Council In Session”: Bill Coleman has a citizen petition asking the city to install “a ‘Council In Session’ light outside of the Council Chamber that turns on for loud and exiting crowds.”
  • Boards and Commissions: George Cortes will be appointed to the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee.
  • SWIP: The city is selling 5.22 acres of the long-vacant South Worcester Industrial Park for $417,500 to locals who plan to build industrial and commercial buildings.
  • Saving Mt Carmel: The city’s lawyers have submitted draft laws that would extend the Council’s ability to delay demolitions from 12 months to 18 months. This was request in light of the possible demolition of Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church. The City Manager notes that the proposed laws wouldn’t be retroactive, and so wouldn’t affect the Mt Carmel situation.
  • Appointing Assistant City Clerks: Who’s in charge of this? According to a report, the laws are complex, but the Manager says he’ll hire whoever the Council appoints.
  • Code Violations: There’s a report on all code violations at properties the Worcester Redevelopment Authority would like to see redeveloped. Since basically the only thing people have been emailing me about is the fate of the Midtown Mall, here are the code violations there: operating multiple churches without a certificate of occupancy (this is resolved); possible basement mold (inspected, “no cause for formal enforcement”); possible fuel oil leak behind a wall (inspected, “no cause for formal enforcement”); complaint concerning water infiltration (inspected, “no cause for formal enforcement”).
  • Non-profits with Taxable Property: Some non-profits own property on which taxes are paid, non-profit status notwithstanding. There’s a list of them in a report this week. These include the Antiquarian Society, Preservation Worcester, the bishop, Worcester Academy, and some of the colleges. The report notes that possibly taxes are being paid because these properties are being used for non-educational/charitable purposes, though it could just be a mistake.
  • New Murals: The city is granting easements for 2 new murals, one near the Hanover Theater, one on Jackson Street in Main South.
  • Six-Figure Grants and Donations: The city will apply for 14 Massachusetts Division of Career Services grants totaling $3,035,328.00; a donation from the Worcester Redevelopment Authority for the Worcester Jobs Fund totalling $100,000.00; 3 state Highway Safety Division grants totalling $106,500.00; Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education‘s Connecting Activities and Career Pathways grants totalling $317,380.00.
  • Off-Road Vehicles: Are the people riding little non-street-legal vehicles around the city irritating you? This week the Council is considering an “emergency ordinance” to crack down on them. It would increase penalties for riding them where not allowed, and assign 2 police officer teams to focus on “aggressive enforcement” for the next 4-6 weeks. This would include monitoring social media to track down riders.
  • Racial Incidents: In response to an alleged racial incident involving a city employee, the city notes that it can’t release details of such investigations, because they are personnel matters, and those are confidential by law.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *