City Council preview, Dec. 7, 2017

WESTFIELD—Several items from Mayor Brian Sullivan are on this week’s City Council agenda.

The City Council will meet Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m., with communications from Mayor Brian Sullivan beginning at 6:30 p.m. in City Council chambers at City Hall. Featured on the agenda are several requests coming from Sullivan related to Community Preservation Act funds.

First, in “Communications from the Mayor,” Sullivan is expected to request three appropriations of CPA funds toward projects within the city. One is for renovations to Hangar Two at Barnes Regional Airport, which is used by students from Westfield Technical Academy, another is for handicap accessibility improvements at the Westfield Women’s Club and the final one is for funds going toward façade improvements at the former Hotel Bismark on Union Avenue.

“All previously approved projects just ready for the next step,” Sullivan said. “It’s a long process.”

Other items expected during mayoral communications include the acceptance of a grant of just under $1,800 for the Westfield Police Department from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, as part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign in the state.

Then, a request for an appropriation of $17,000 is expected for costs associated with asbestos removal at a residence on Lewis Street. The funds are expected to come from the city’s Reserve for Unforeseen account and transferred to the Building Department. According to City Council President and At-Large Councilor Brent Bean, II, the property in question previously had a fire there.

Another item includes the payment of a prior year bill, with funds expected to transfer from the Community Development FY 2018 General Expenses account.

Then, there is a newly proposed fee schedule expected for the Building Department. According to Bean, this happens every couple of years and the city looks at the fees for building and other permits. He said that this may be an increase.

Also, a correction is expected to be submitted related to a City Council vote that was taken for a budget cut that was taken from the Technology Center’s Part Time Hourly account, which should have been from the Full Time Hourly account.

There is also a resolution expected to accept a sanitary sewer easement from the Southampton Road sewer improvements. Then, a resolution supporting the grant application for the Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities Grant Program related to the handicap accessibility improvements for the Hampton Ponds Playground.

In “Reports of Committees,” the Legislative and Ordinance (L & O) Committee is expected to bring three items to City Council, which includes one along with the Zoning Planning and Development (ZPD) Committee.

First, the City Council is expected to act on cuts requested to their annual compensation.

“We had cut some monies from the salary increase and this is just matching the ordinances up with the finances for that vote,” Bean said.

Next, L & O is expected to bring forth an ordinance amendment to have Fire Commission meetings held at the new Little River Road Fire Station’s community room.

Then, the combined L & O and ZPD committee is expected to put forth a zoning amendment related to exterior lighting, in an attempt to strengthen protections.

According to Bean, ordinances in the city do not have a lot of items etched out in relation to outdoor lighting and this is looking to strengthen this.

“I think we’re just trying to get a handle on the new technology out there, try to renew ordinances and strengthen them a bit,” Bean said.

Then, the Personnel Action Committee is expected to put to City Council the appointment of William K. Tatro to the Off-Street Parking Commission. Bean said that this would fill the spot of Bernie Puza, who is currently on the Westfield Planning Board.

Also, Ward Two Councilor and school liaison Ralph Figy is expected to submit the School Superintendent’s report to the council.

Finally, in “Motions, Orders or Resolutions,” two motions are expected from city councilors.

First, from Figy, a motion is being made to remove an ordinance change to repeal the city’s sex offender ordinance. According to Bean, it is an old motion that has been sitting in L & O for over two years, and this would remove the item from the committee.

Then, a motion from Ward Four Councilor Mary O’Connell is expected to re-name Highland Park after former City Councilor Barbara Swords.

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