September 2019 Minutes

LDNA 9/23/19

7 PM, LTC

Present:

Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan

Sam Litvin

Meeting called to order at: 7:03.

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

Approval of August 2019 minutes:  Motion made by Sam and 2nd by Carolyn; approved.

Treasurer’s Report

               $840.29 balance in account.

Police Report

Capt. Kennedy – In charge of downtown “Charlie” sector.

  • Car breaks involve unlocked cars  — Please lock your cars!
  • Disorderly conduct and unarmed robberies involve kids on bicycles.  LPD is working on the problem with the Juvenile Court.
  • Ongoing compliance checks at downtown bars are having success at discouraging underage drinking even though they have very good fraudulent drivers licenses.
  • Positive feedback from downtown residents regarding new precinct and increased downtown patrols.

Q:  Status of 60 day trial for Uber & Lyft?

A:  To avoid crowding at let-out time of bars.

Q:  But downtown residents aren’t able to get ride-share cars to come to their residence.  This is a real problem for residents that need these services.

A:  (City Manager) This shouldn’t be the case.  Will look into this.

Q:  Needles are an issue at South Common

A:  Call x3200 police non-emergency number and the needles will be picked up right away.

Q:  Actually, lots of issues at South Common.

A:  LPD is aware and working on it.  Lots of arrests were made recently specifically to get people help and services that they need in cooperation with the co-op program and Lowell’s new Drug Court.

City Manager Eileen Donoghue will speak on progress with various issues.

  • Couldn’t be more proud of the Lowell Police Dept.  The summer was relatively quiet compared to many other cities due to LPD’s hard work.
  • Council has stressed financial security, partnerships with institutions, and public safety.
  • Hamilton Canal District devised as an economic development engine for the city.  It got a bit stuck due to the recession, but now its back on track.
    • Streets “F” and “G” are under construction and the new signature bridge is nearing completion.
    • Ground has been broken on the new garage.  New construction manager at risk process and use of pre-cast concrete will bring the project in on budget and should be complete in about a year.
    • New courthouse should be finished by the end of the year.  Various court tenants will slowly more into the new building over a period of several months.
    • Various lots are being looked at by private developers and it looks like land swap with National Park is nearing actualization.
  • Lord overpass project will begin in the spring, to avoid conflict with garage construction activities.
  • Tiger bridge program going well, except for the central street bridge.  This project ran into difficulty because the canal couldn’t be fully drained of water.  The bridge will be re-designed and then they will re-try.  Project is being managed by MassDOT.
  • New public art sculpture: “Hydro” was unveiled last week at Utopian Park.  Park will be landscaped soon.
  • Plaza in front of Leo Roy Garage has been fixed up by the city.  Also, Kerouac park has had major improvements.
  • Jackson Street will get new street trees.
  • Middlesex & Marston Street bench has been removed and area will be improved.
  • Hanging flower baskets have been replaced and expanded.  A person has been hired to maintain them.
  • Public Safety:
    • New downtown precinct is focusing attention in the downtown area.  City has seen big double-digit decreases in various crime categories.
    • New police boat has made a big difference in dealing with craziness on the river.
    • New police ATV allows easier access to otherwise difficult to reach locations by the rivers.
  • Homelessness:
    • Big problem all over the state and country as well as Lowell.
    • In the spring a taskforce was formed, including police, school, hospital, CTI, many other organizations throughout city.  Looked at successful Worcester program and brought in national expert to consult.
    • Problem identified was not a lack of services, but that none were focused on housing, and the various programs weren’t coordinating.
    • Old model required homeless people to get themselves “on track” before any help would be provided.  New model is “housing first”  so their situation is stabilized, and then on-site services can be provided.
    • Transitional Living Center has historically kicked people out during the day.  Now, in partnership with the taskforce, the shelter will stay open 24hrs and provide a platform for providing services.
    • Rooming house development will be pursued to prove longer-term housing for the homeless while they get services.
    • On a day and night in June, a count was taken all over the city to figure out how many homeless people there were in the city.  Result was just under 200 people.
    • Hospital is helping because health care costs are much lower if people are in housing instead of on the street.

Q:  What about safety at the shelters.

A:  Facility is under-funded so that’s a challenge.  But city is working with the shelter on this problem.

Q:  What about mental health?

A:  Services have been provided by a facility in Lawrence.  City is now working to have Lowell Community Health provide these services locally.

  • High school project approved by MSBA, but its now under way for real.
  • Lower Locks Status
    • Mayor Samaris and Vice-Mayor Nuon have been pushing for a solution.
    • Land is owned by many parties including city, park, UML, MCC, etc, which has been a challenge.  Parties came away from meeting with a sense of urgency.
    • All stakeholders have agreed to work on a feasibility study to figure out exactly what needs to be done.  It will be a major project.

Q:  Will Lord overpass project project connect with Western Ave Studios?

A:  No.  Train tracks are I the way.

Q:  What can the city do when a developer comes in and starts and then abandons a project.  (Specifically worried about a project 246.1 Market Street between Canal I and Canal III)

A:  Developers have a fixed time to get things done.  And they need to maintain the site.  Will look into this specific property.

Q:  Do properties need to maintain the area in front of their buildings?

A:  Yes.

Q:  Can institutions (e.g. UML) do more to give to the city in lieu of taxes.

A:  UML actually does do a lot, but a lot is behind the scenes.  In fact, one project the UML decided to maintain as a private property rather than buying it as a concession to keep it on the tax roles.

Q:  Comcast is a pain?

A:  New company is coming in to offer fiber as an alternative.

Q:  What will happen to the old courthouses?

A:  They are owned by the state.  Building on Gorham Street is a historic structure that will be very difficult to deal with.  Another building is in very bad condition, but the city may be able to do something with it.

Mayor Samaris:  The city manager has done a fantastic job.  Many of the successes she mentioned are due to the Manager’s hard work and her taking the initiative to come up with good ideas to solve problems.

General Information

  • October 8th panel discussion at Senior Center on the new voting system options.  Will be on LTC.

Meeting Adjourns at 8:49.

August 2019 Minutes

LDNA 8/26/19

7 PM, LTC

Present:

Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan

Sam Litvin

Meeting called to order at: 7:02.

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

Approval of June 2019 minutes:  Made by Sam and 2nd by Carolyn; approved.

Treasurer’s Report

               $840.29 balance in account.

Police Report

(No police report this month)

Michael Round, Co-chair of the Kinetic Sculpture Race, will talk about the race, and take questions.

  • 9/21/2019, all day event; streets close around 8:00 am.
  • Opening ceremony at 11:00; race starts at 11:30.
  • starts on Market St  —  continues on Middle St toward Tsongas Arena mud pit, then across river through UML north campus and into the neighborhood. Then on to heritage state park to prepare for the river portion.
  • At 1:00 or 1:30 the race will enter the river. Then race back to end the race back on Market Street.
  • After party and awards at Warp & Weft.
  • Lots of businesses have been very supportive of the race.
  • Race is just under 6 miles; looking to extend in future years.
  • Looking for volunteers and donations.
  • Access to Roy Garage via Middle Street ONLY.

Henri Marchand, Lowell’s Director of Cultural Events, will speak about upcoming events in the city.

  • New canalway cultural district guide pamphlet
  • New downtown dining guide
  • Kerouac festival schedule has been published
  • New public art projects
    • New sculpture in Hamilton Canal District
    • New murals on retaining walls at JFK plaza
  • H.marchand@lowellma.gov  to be added to mailing list
  • Go to likelowell.com for calendar of events; public can post events
  • Concrete games available to play at keoac park.
  • Blues & brewes festival at JFK plaza
  • Lowell Irish festival at the Auditorium and electric car event at heritage park.
  • City of Lights parade on Nov 30th.

Andres Gonzales, Lowell Health Dept, Syringe Collection Programmer Coordinator introduction.

  • Operating since late April.  Call if you spot a syringe laying around.
  • Working with canal cleaners, schools, youth groups, other city agencies, etc…
  • Will pre-clean areas used for various events such as outdoor movie nights, street races, etc…
  • DO NOT pick up syringes yourself or throw syringes in the trash  —  call for a pickup.
  • Doesn’t only pick up syringes, but also dispenses information on resources for addicts.
  • Over 5000 syringes collected in first 5 months of program.
  • After hours, syringes are picked up by Trinity Ambulance service.

Joanne Marcos of LNHP

  • National Park Lands Day 9/28/2019 is a big cleanup of park grounds and canals.
  • Working with City to clean up canals, both of trash and invasive species, etc.
  • 8/25 was 400th anniversary of first landing of enslaved Africans.
  • Working on series of programs to mark anniversary of 19th amendment, Woman’s voting rights.  2020 is 100th anniversary.

General Information

Councilor Leahy:  Central Street jersey barriers will come down for the winter, will try again to start the work in the spring.

Mayor Samaris:

  • 8/27 will be ribbon cutting on new garage in Hamilton District.
  • Wynn development will start on two new building next year.
  • City taking steps to deal with traffic issues that will be caused by all the simultaneous construction that will be happening over the next few years.
  • City council will be taking up the decision to change the voting system.  Presentation on the options given at senior center is available for viewing on the city website.

Miriam Perkins:

  • LDNA HOA Meeting planned for September – will send out doodle poll for date.

Shawna:

  • City is looking for people to join a monument committee.
  • City is looking for people to participate in re-constituted CrimeStoppers program.

Meeting Adjourns at 8:12.

June 2019 Minutes

LDNA 6/24/19

7 PM, LTC

Present:

Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan

Sam Litvin

Meeting called to order at: 7:03.

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

Approval of Apr 2019 minutes:  Made and 2nd; approved.

Treasurer’s Report

               $820.29 balance in account.  Suggested donation of $10 is welcome.  We donated $100 to Points of Light Celebration.

Police Report

Lt. Peasley – newly in charge of downtown “Charlie” sector.  Dedicated to downtown area only.  23yrs experience including Gang, SWAT, and School Resource Divisions.

  • Increase presence in downtown.
  • Bike and golf cart/ATV used to get around quickly downtown.
  • Younger officers in plain clothes did bar inspections and found no issues.
  • Saturation Patrol strategy to increase visibility.
  • Strategy to deal with juveniles in large groups on bikes misbehaving.  Police working with Juvenile court.  Bikes can be seized for 15 days.
  • Cluster of 5-6 car breaks on Jackson Street;  all involved unlocked vehicles.
  • 1 robbery involving an uber driver.
  • Agg Assaults:  2 were after school at LHS, others at bars.

Q:  Where did the displaced people who used to hang out at TD Bank benches go to?

A:  Everywhere else.  LPD is working on the homeless issue, but with the shelter here its inescapable.

Roberto Dei, Special Events Coordinator for the City of Lowell, will speak about upcoming events at Kerouac Park – as well as the Lowell Folk Festival.

  • Over $25k raised to improve Kerouac park through crown-funding campaign.
  • Series of six concerts scheduled for June – August on a new stage.  (With food trucks!)
  • Yoga, Zumba and Crossfit free classes in the park in mornings.
  • Concrete games in the park.  Chess pieces, Ping-Pong paddles, etc.  for the games are available at Mill City Clothing on Bridge Street.

More information at http://likelowell.com/keowakpark

No major changes for the folk festival.  Dance stage remains at Dutton Street one more year.

Will coordinate street closing and parking rules as event get closer.

JoAnn Marcos, from the Lowell National Park Service, will the Folk Festival from the NPS perspective.

Looking for volunteers – 4hrs commitment.  See lowellfolkfestival.org for more info.

Street closings begin Friday afternoon.  All vehicles inside barriers are screened for security.

Market Street Garage access is open via Central Street same as previous years.

General Information

Lower Pawtucket Canal will be drawn down until September for he Central Street bridge project.

Q:  Can we clean up the canals while they’re drawn down?

A:  Hard to get access.  Canal water Cleaners group is active I tis area.

Enell has been better lately about being a partner with the city, for example cooperating with Point of Light celebration.

Call new Lowell syringe coordinator if you see a syringe – don’t try to pick it up yourself.

What’s up with the adopt-a-island program?  The city has re-invigorated the program and Manager’s office is actively trying to coordinate with the adopters.

Park area in front of the Roy garage looks really great!

Q:  Any news on Athenian Corner project?

A:  Its moving forward but slowly.

New BBQ restaurant moving in where Lui Lui had been.

Caren Cirillo running for re-election.

Meeting Adjourns at 8:07.

April 2019 Minutes

LDNA 4/22/19

7 PM, LTC

Present:

Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan

Sam Litvin

Meeting called to order at: 7:02.

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

Approval of Feb and Mar 2019 minutes:  Motion made and seconded; approved.

Treasurer’s Report

               $890.29 balance in account.  Suggested donation of $10 is welcome.

Police Report

Chief Richardson:  Made a commitment to downtown; including higher visibility presence downtown.  TD Bank area is going to be redone with new benches designated for the residents nearby.

Q:  What’s up with story in the Sun about LPD officers who mis-behaved?

A:  It happened before I was chief, and I wasn’t aware of all the details when the officer in question was promoted.  Another officer involved was not promoted.

O:  Now that pot is legal, the isn’t the street pot cheaper?

A:  Yes, its becoming an issue, but we’re really focused on the fentanyl issue at the moment.

Q:  What about establishing a neighborhood watch program?

A:  Maybe down the road.  There are issues. 

Capt. Kennedy (Charlie Sector commander)

  • 4 Agg assaults.
    • 6:15 am at the shelter; arrest made.
    • 1pm at Lowell District Court; parties were known to each other; 3 arrested.
    • LHS students in a disagreement; 1 arrest made
    • Blue Shamrock; person claims they were beaten with a bat; but no witnesses.
  • 1 Burglary at Dunkin Donuts involving a scam.
  • 5 car breaks
    • 1 may have been a domestic incident.
    • 2 vehicles were left unlocked and contents were stolen.
    • 1 vehicle has windows smashed near shelter; possibly drug-seeking individual.
  • 5 disorderly
    • 1 involved a social media app.
    • 1 involved bar closing at Last Safe and Deposit
  • 2 shoplifting incidents
    • 1 was perpetrated by a shelter resident;  The resident returned the property and the store declined to press charges.
    • 1 involved stolen baby formula from CVS; most likely to be sold for drugs.

Q:  I called in a couple of disorderly issues, and police responded but why didn’t they make the list?

A:  The two issues involved emotionally disturbed people who ended up going to the hospital for medical treatment.  So those incidents don’t tend to show up on the crime report.  Police try to be compassionate and find help for people that have real issues.  It’s a real problem that there’s little to no support for these people and its left to the LPD and the ER.

Contact at tkennedy@lowellma.gov.

Management representatives from Coffee and Cotton and The Farm Market will give a brief update on upcoming events and offerings at Mill No. 5.  (Addie, GM of Coffee and Cotton; Mariah, farm Market Manager)

  • POSTPONED

Rogers Muyanja of the International Institute will give an overview of the organization’s work in Lowell, as well as speak of the upcoming 100 year anniversary observation.

  • Asylum vs refugee
  • Founded in Lowell in 1918.
  • (See attached slides)

Q:  Is there a particular group that accounts for a lot of clients?

A:  A lot of people from Afganistan and Iraq who have helped the US, are currently clients.  But the overall numbers are very low under this administration.

Q:  Do you work with Rotary clubs and other similar groups?

A:  Yes, developing these relationships is critical.  The current climate and rhetoric makes outreach especially important these days.

General Information

  • 5/8 Meeting at Rogers School to discuss possible changes to intersection at end of Lowell Connector.
  • City will talk to TD Bank about possible improvements to the area around the Drive-through at Market & Central Street.
  • LDNA will donate $100 to the Points of Light Festival.
  • No LDNA meeting in May.  Next meeting is 6/24/2019

Q:  Can we get notice of when the canals will be drained?

A:  We will follow up with city.

Q:  Can we get an update on the central Street bridge replacement?

A:  We will ask the city to come back.

Q:  Can we get update on green bike program.

A:  Yes

Meeting Adjourns at 8:45.

March 2019 Minutes

Notes from March 25, 2019 LDNA Meeting

Treasurer’s Report: Currently at $880.29

Police Report: Captain Thomas Kennedy reported that only 10 crimes were reported in the downtown over the period. He stated that additional patrol officers had been assigned. Captain Kennedy also spoke of improvements at the TD Bank area on Central  Street.  The old benches have been removed, and will be replaced with fewer benches – some of which will be the property of the building owner.  There will be further enhancements to the plaza in general, which will hopefully cut down on some of the problem behavior in the area – while still allow outdoor seating for the residents of the aprtments upstairs.  In addition, a police substation will be created across the street – in the Eastern Bank

Economic Development Update:  Maria Dickinson, Economic Development Officer, reported that the department has been focusing on new businesses – while still working with existing businesses.   She explained how all of the roadwork and the new bridge should provide new gateways to the Hamilton Canal District.  The city is interviewing for a general contractor for the Courthouse area garage, and noted that there is also some interest from a private developer in building another garage in the area.  This would be similar to the garage by Perkins Street.  Ms. Dickinson also mentioned that Winn Development will have two new buildings which will be a combination of commercial and residential units.  She also reported that the Downtown Ventures Fund had funneled $235,000 to new retail and restaurant establishments.   Among them are Warp & Weft, Purple Carrot, and Th Keep.  She also noted how the city provided a forgivable loan to help Eyeful Beauty acquire their new space.  Her office also has marketing workshops available free of charge, and Economic Development also provides grants.  Ms. Dickinson reported that two companies are either expanding in or moving to the Boot Mills complex.  She listed Big Poke, Lao de Cafe, Powerhouse Juice, Pups of Lowell, Vinaan Cafe, and Panela as new downtown businesses.  Ms. Dickinson then introduced Juan Acevedo and his sister from Panela Restaurant on Hanover Street.

February 2019 Minutes

LDNA 2/25/19

7 PM, LTC

Present:

Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan

Sam Litvin

Meeting called to order at: 7:01.

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

Approval of Feb 2019 minutes:  Not posted — Postponed.

Treasurer’s Report

               $850.29 balance in account.  Suggested donation of $10 is welcome.

Police Report

Lt. Nobrega (new Charlie Sector supervisor in evening shift)

  • 5 Agg Assaults; 5 arrests.
  • 1 robbery and 1 shoplift incidents still under investigation
  • 5 disorderlies; 4 which led to arrests.

Update on progress of Athenian Corner Hotel Construction by Ted Panagiotopoulos, and Matt Hammer.

  • Very close to starting construction.  Just waiting on some final approvals and financing issues involving the federal government.
  • 12-15 months expected construction duration.
  • Rooftop bar was not approved by NPS.  But a portion of the new building will have a 6th floor that will have a large function space for up to 150 people with lots of glass and great views.
  • Parking will be provided in a city garage for up to 55 guests.  Possibly using valet parking.
  • Restaurant will have to close for some portion of the construction.  Looking to continue operation in temporary quarters elsewhere in the downtown.
  • Adjacent sidewalks will be closed for duration of construction.  But no street closures will be required.
  • Construction staging and parking is being looked at off-site.

Northern Middlesex Council of Governments (NMCOG)  representatives will present and solicit input for the next Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). (Justin Hoard, Jong Wai Tommee, Chris Curry)

  • RTP covers 20 year period.
  • Directs up to $264M in federal funding to projects in the region.
  • RTP funds over the last 4 years have paid for:
    • GPS tracking of fixed-route LRTA busses.
    • New LRTA vehicles
    • Gallagher Station improvements
    • New University Ave bridge.
  • Possible future RTP projects:
    • New Rourke bridge  (baby steps; maybe in ~ 10yrs)
    • Appleton/Gorham/Church intersection improvements
    • Appleton Street corridor “Complete Streets” improvements
  • Upcoming open-house style public meeting to take comments on the RTP at Lowell Senior Center on 3/7/2019 from 4:30 – 7:30.

General Information

               Portion of Kirk Street will be closed due to nearby roof construction.

               LDNA is entered in fundraiser Chili competition. St Anne’s 3/1/2019.  6:30 – 9:00pm.

Meeting Adjourns at 7:51.

January 2019 Minutes

LDNA 1/28/19

7 PM, LTC

Present:

Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan  (arrived 7:41)

Sam Litvin

Meeting called to order at: 7:04.

Opening greeting

Police Report

               Deputy Sup. Barry Golner

  • City now has 3 sectors
  • Up to 10 walking routes downtown
  • New ATV coming to downtown

Capt. Kennedy – New ‘A’ Sector Commander

  • Relatively light crime this period.

Q&A:

  • Smokehouse comes up a lot.  Is it a problem establishment?
    • It attracts a tough demographic, but things have been quieter the last year or so.
    • A lot of the problem is the crowds that congregate when bars close.  Working on a solution for the Uber/Lyft pick-up issue.
  • How much of the car vandalism happens in city garages?
    • Very little.  It was a much bigger problem years ago, but not lately.
  • What’s the status of legal tools to deal with Homeless issues?
    • District Court under Judge Fords has established a special “mental health court” where people with emotional/medical issues can be diverted for assistance to stop the revolving door of chronic petty offences.  Modeled after successful program in Cambridge.
    • City has 11 homeless encampments, and as many as 40 during warmer weather.
    • Sheriff’s office is working on a pilot program to offer more programming and services.

Discussion of pedestrian safety in Downtown Lowell

  • Dutton & Market intersection is a bad spot for pedestrians.  Many people are afraid to cross the street and have nearly been hit.  Only actual accidents are reported – not near misses!
    • Traffic engineer is now looking at reverting back to dedicated pedestrian cycle.
  • Line striping needs good weather.  Various funding sources for painting and signs, etc.
  • In the winter the lack of shoveling is a real problem on sidewalks.
  • Bicycles on sidewalks downtown are an issue.
    • Traffic engineer is working on improving bike lanes throughout city.

Approval of minutes

Approval of Oct and Nov 2018 minutes:  Approved.

Treasurer’s Report

               $705.20 balance in account.  We donated $100 to Kerouac park.

               Time for LDNA Dues.  Suggested donation is $10.

Annual election of LDNA officers

               Slate of Jack, Carolyn and Sam are reelected by unanimous vote.

Meeting Adjourns at 8:19.

November 2018 Minutes

LDNA 11/26/18

7 PM, LTC

Present:

Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan

Sam Litvin

Meeting called to order at: 7:02.

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

Approval of Oct minutes postponed.

Police Report

               Capt. Sullivan – A Sector Commander

  • Parade went well this year as compared to last year.
  • Uptick in motor vehicle vandalism and break-ins.
    • Most of the trouble was at the very end of October beginning of November.  Police took notice and weeks since have been better.
    • Car breaks occur both on the street and in the garages.
    • Most garages have cameras – most are working.  Will check on the status of Roy garage cameras
  • Agg Assauts were mostly domestic; one was between acquainted parties on Market Street.
    • Mid-day assault in bell park turned into armed robbery due to stolen phone; remains unsolved.  May be related to incident in Belvidere.

Q&A:

  • Area behind lower locks is being used by drug users and as a latrine.

Special Joint Meeting with Lowell City Council Neighborhoods Subcommittee

Treasurer’s Report

               $800.29 balance in account.

Meeting Adjourns.

October 2018 Minutes

LDNA 10/22/18

7 PM, LTC

Present:

Carolyn Alphen

Jack Moynihan

Sam Litvin

Meeting called to order at: 7:01.

Opening greeting

Approval of minutes

Approval of Sept minutes; Motion made and 2nd from floor; approved.

Police Report

               Capt. Sullivan – A Sector Commander

  • Was Downtown commander about 10 years ago; Since then was old east sector commander and then in charge of detective unit.
  • Recent downtown shooting was solved due to eye-witnesses and video cameras.
  • Major problems downtown:
    • 1:00 – 3:30 AM after bars close
    • Morning issues with homeless
  • Downtown high-vis patrols supported by grant funding will continue.

ksullivan@lowellma.gov

Q&A:

  • Councilor Leahy invites all residents to contact the council with any issues facing downtown.
  • Maybe we should do a downtown survey to see what everyone thinks about issues such as rolling back bar hours.
  • What is the status of City’s effort to get more latitude for dealing with homeless issues?
    • There was a meeting earlier today with Court officials.  Will report results next meeting.
  • What is the deal with pub crawls?  Is this really good for the city?
    • Police detail not paid by promoter, but there was no violence or major issues.
    • Need to coordinate with other events in the city.

Special Guest:  Lowell City Councilor and Vice-Mayor Vesna Nuon

  • Worked with Capt Sullivan for many years.
  • If council decides to do something about changing bar hours, public support/input will be crucial.

Q&A

  • Lots of lights out along canal and river walks.
  • Mayor Samaras: I’m interested in looking at overall climate in downtown:
    • after-hours drinking establishments.
    • Homeless issues and pan-handling.
    • Will work to start an open discussion about these issue with residents.
  • Some homeless issues are really mental health related.
    • It would help if shelter had daytime activities instead of dumping everyone on the street for the day.
  • What about pedestrian safety in the downtown?
    • People routinely run red lights.
    • What about red light cameras?  This would also help with gridlock.
      • Council will look into a motion to study the cost and feasibility.

Treasurer’s Report

               Deferred to November meeting.

Discussion

  • School Committee has motion pending to revisit neighborhood schooling.  What do we think?
    • Not enough info to know.  That’s why we need to study the issue.
    • Would city-wide specialty schools still work?
    • School Dept would have to work hard to maintain parity among the various schools.
    • Councilor Leahy strongly in favor of neighborhood schools.

Meeting Adjourns at 7:56.

September 2018 Minutes

LDNA 9/24/18

7 PM, LTC

 

Present:

Carolyn Alphen

Sam Litvin

 

Meeting called to order at: 7:03.

 

Opening greeting

 

Approval of minutes

Approval of June minutes; Motion made and 2nd from floor; approved.

 

Police Report

Capt. Barry Golner – A Sector Commander

  • 5 Agg assaults; all resulted in arrests or court summons for perpetrator.
  • 4 car breaks; all involved unlocked vehicles – LOCK YOUR CARS!
  • 8 Disorderlies – many involved fights involving LHS students.

Q&A:

  • Issue of homeless sleeping in doorways seems to be increasing.
    • LPD works with shelter, hospital, etc. to try to direct people to services.
    • New Mental Health Court as well as special drug court has been created to help.
  • Crime is way down, but calls for service is way up. Mostly “social” issues that police are called on as the only available 24/7 agency.
    • Cuts to social service agencies need to be reversed so services are available.
  • Should we be worried about shooting right on Merrimack Street in early evening?
    • It was an isolated incident. The two parties new each other and had a dispute.  Suspect surrendered to police within 24hrs.
  • Is organized crime a problem in the city?
    • Not like it used to be. Mainly involves various ethnic groups, e.g., gambling rings, etc.

 

Treasurer’s Report

$775.00 balance, according to interim treasurer Carolyn.  Everyone is invited to make a voluntary $10 membership contribution.

 

Special Guest:  Lowell Police Superintendent Raymond “Kelly” Richardson

The Superintendent introduced himself and spoke briefly during the earlier police presentation.

 

Special Guest:  Claire Ricker of Lowell DPD

  • Chief design planner and senior planner for Hamilton canal district master plan area
  • 13 acre site.
  • Winn Companies has a signed agreement to develop parcels 8 &9.
    • Rental “workforce” Housing (20/80/20 income mix)
    • Air bridge between 2 buildings will have additional housing units.
    • MEPA process dictates environmental standards
  • Justice Center with 7 courts and registry of deeds will open in January 2020.
  • New parking garage has some innovative and exciting exterior design features.
    • 930 parking spaces
    • It will have electric charging stations and bike storage.
    • Pedestrian access to adjacent canal is anticipated.
    • Construction will begin in spring of 2019.
  • City website has a tab with links to info on all construction projects.
  • Lord Overpass is at 100% design. 3 year construction with opening in 2022.
    • Construction will overlap with Central Street bridge project for about 1yr.

Q&A:

  • Natasha is new transportation engineer.
  • Toby Marks is new parking director.

 

Discussion

  • LDNA logo is on storage container at Kerouac Park following donation.
  • Future guests?
    • Bring in another update on bridge closings as it gets closer to the time.
    • Fire Dept.
    • New business owners. Maybe get update on Market St. Hotel.
    • Ask for representative from license commission to com speak to us.
    • Steve Stowell form Historic Commission.

 

Meeting Adjourns at 8:28.