Preview: City Council agenda (April 10)

The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday at 6:30pm. The agenda is here.

This week: Affordable housing, complete streets.

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  • Lodging Houses: Councilor Bergman has an item (held over from last week) asking that existing multi-family homes not be considered “lodging houses” for city enforcement purposes. I do not understand this item.
  • A Million Dollars for the Library: Xristian De’Jesus and about 50 others have a citizen petition asking the City Manager to increase library spending by $1,000,000 “to expand books in the business section, world language books, classrooms, charging stations, recording studios and video game stations to utilize the benefits of the library.”
  • Police Body Cameras: Gordon Davis has a petition asking the Worcester Police Department to use body cameras.
  • Hate Crimes Stats: Gordon Davis also has a petition asking the city to release the hate crimes statistics it sends to the state (are these not a public record already?) and for a report on how the Worcester Police Department prevents and investigates hate crimes.
  • Boards and Commissions: Aaron Richman will be reappointed to the Human Rights Commission. The Council will vote on appointing John Stewart and Kimberly Vanderspek to the Election Commission.
  • Affordable Housing: The Manager has a report noting we’ve committed or spent $23.4 million over the past 7 years to develop and preserve 1,849 affordable housing units. 13.4% of our housing is “affordable.” We “have more subsidized housing inventory than the next eleven towns and cities in Worcester County combined.”
  • Increasing the Sewer Rate 3%: The Manager would like to increase the sewer rate. “The Department of Public Works and Parks recommendation for water and sewer rates for FY18 will increase the annual combined bill for the average single family home by $19.00 or 2.9% based on Worcester’s average usage of 68 CCFs. This recommendation is significantly less than the average combined rate increase of 4.7% over the last 10 years.”
  • $3.5 million Loan Order for Parking Repairs: The Manager would like the Council to approve a loan order so we can restore the Pearl Elm Garage, upgrade the stairs at Federal Plaza, and improve security at the Major Taylor Boulevard Garage.
  • Creating a Transportation Advisory Group: As part of creating a Complete Streets policy, the Manager would like to establish a Transportation Advisory Group that would include city and state employees as well as members of the community at large.

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