L&O meeting has full agenda

Ward 6 City Councilor William Onyski (WNG file photo)

WESTFIELD – The Legislative & Ordinance sub-committee, chaired by Ward 6 Councilor William Onyski, will meet on Wed., May 1 at 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers to review items for the City Council meeting on Thursday. Onyski said the committee is working hard and successfully to move items out that have been in committee.
One of those items is a motion from At-large Councilor Dave Flaherty that non-resident employees of Westfield businesses, not just owners, be allowed to serve on board and commission (excluding the Fire Commission, Police Commission, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals) upon nomination by the Mayor and confirmation by the City Council. Onyski said the change to allow non-resident business owners to serve came in 2010. This request came up due to a Westfield business employee and former resident who has expertise to offer the Historic Commission, and who is interesting in serving, Onyski said.
$272,000 remaining on a Bond Order to restore and preserve Hangar Two at Westfield Barnes Airport will be rescinded as the project is completed, and the remaining funds unborrowed. Bonds to be rescinded must pass through the L&O committee procedurally, Onyski said.
Another procedural item is the order of appropriation of Community Preservation Act funds of $90,000 for taking of easements for the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail central downtown section, which was approved at the Community Preservation Committee’s quarterly meeting on April 11.
Also being discussion at L&O will be a Special Tax Assessment (STA) for Toll Bros., Inc. at 100 Apremont Way. Toll Brothers, a building products company at 100 Apremont Way, is expanding with a $1.7 million current investment in upgrades and equipment and a potential for up to $3.8 million, and 15 to 35 new jobs in manufacturing. The STA will allow them entry into the state incentive program, according to Mayor Brian P. Sullivan last week, who said the real estate taxes on the existing business will continue to be paid.
A Resolution of the City Council to accept the BRAVE Act, a new state law that will allow for property tax exemption for the full amount of real estate evaluation for surviving parents or guardians of soldiers and sailors, members of the National Guard and Veterans who died as a proximate result of injury suffered in the line of duty, will be reviewed and brought out to the City Council for a recommendation at the Thursday, May 2 meeting.
The short term rental ordinance will be reviewed, following two public hearings at Planning Board and City Council meetings earlier this month. Onyski said there may be further amendments to the ordinance made on the floor at L&O, but he is expecting to bring it out to the City Council with a recommendation at Thursday’s meeting.
Also being reviewed following public hearings are petitions from Verizon and Westfield G&E to place on jointly owned pole on Westwood Ave., and six at several locations on Western Ave., due to upcoming construction on Western Ave.

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