City Council to meet Monday; Old Dominion public hearing to continue

Ward 2 Councilor and City Council President Ralph J. Figy (WNG File Photo)

WESTFIELD – A short agenda for the City Council meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, July 8 takes care of unfinished business and includes a continued public hearing for a special permit for an Old Dominion Freight Line truck terminal on Medeiros Way.

Monday’s meeting is a regular meeting that includes public participation.
The only two items under new communications from the mayor’s office is immediate consideration for acceptance of the first installment of $150,000 of a grant of $300,000 from the Department of Conservation and Recreation to the Engineering Department for the Levee Trail.
Also requested is the reappointment of Juanita A. Carnes as a member of the Board of Health.
City Auditor Christopher Caputo is requesting approval on Orders for Stormwater Management and Sewerage and Wastewater Treatment missed at the meeting on June 27.
A public hearing is scheduled for a special permit for an indoor trampoline park at 443 Main St., submitted by Jia Min “Johnny” Chen  doing business as Fun Z Trampoline Park. City Council president Ralph J. Figy said he expects the council to vote on the permit at Monday’s meeting.
Baystate Noble Hospital is also submitting a petition for a zone change from Residential A to a Hospital District. A public hearing will be scheduled.
The Legislative & Ordinance Committee will submit a resolution between the City of Westfield and the Mass Department of Transportation for the Columbia Greenway Project.
The City Council narrowly voted to continue the public hearing for a special permit for Old Dominion Freight Line at its meeting on June 20, and asked that representatives provide data from the city engineer, the fire department, and the zoning and planning department when they return. Figy said he expects the permit to be referred to committee following the hearing. Several motions are also on the agenda from council members. Ward Councilors Mary Ann Babinski and Michael Burns are asking for a review of the pedestrian signals at North Elm and Pochassic St. for safer crossings, and of the parking times at the Depot Square lot at the same location. The councilors are requesting referral to the Traffic Commission and Public, Health and Safety for the first request, and to Off-Street Parking for the second.
At-large Councilor Dave Flaherty also has two motions. The first requests outside counsel to review whether Rules of Council should be ignored during the budget process; and the second requests the mayor to submit offsetting budget cuts for every dollar of mid-year supplemental appropriations.
“The reason I asked for a ruling is that our lawyer and other lawyers disagree. Cities and towns all across the state follow a variety of internal rules and procedures when working on annual budgets. My interpretation is that you can follow your own rules as long as you ultimately satisfy the timing, voting, non-voting, 1/12th rules, etc… that are in the Mass General Laws about budgets,” Flaherty said.
Figy said the City Council has had a very busy and productive first half of the year, and he is looking forward to time off from the regular schedule for work on special projects, which he did not specify.

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