January 2018 Minutes

LDNA 1/22/18

7 PM, LTC

 

Present:

Jack Moynihan

Carolyn Alphen

Stephen Greene

Sam Litvin

 

Meeting called to order at: 7:02.

 

Opening greeting

 

Approval of minutes

Approval of October minutes; Motion was made by Stephen and 2nd was heard.

 

Treasurer’s Report

$615.29 balance.  Everyone is invited to make a voluntary $10 membership contribution.

 

Annual election of LDNA officers

Slate of existing board is re-elected by unanimous consent.

 

Police Report

Capt Crowley – Sector ‘A’ Commander.

Crime statistics look pretty good (low) for the period.  One assault was 2 girls at high school.  Other 2 assaults were domestic.

Robbery at Middlesex St.:  Phone and backpack stolen from pedestrian by person who drove up in car.

Ongoing thefts from cars – lock your doors!

Bad weather = lower crime.

Compstat numbers are LPD-only (not UMLPD or LNHP PD) and reflect only issues that result in police reports.

 

Special Guest:  William Samaras, Mayor of the City of Lowell

Councilor Cirillo also in attendance.

Learns a lot from attending neighborhood meetings

Next step:  increase involvement of neighborhood groups.  Maybe groups can actually be involved in generating/filing council motions.

2 new council subcommittees:  1) Seniors and 2) Non-profits

Senior subcom will meet at senior center and other locations where seniors are.

Increase communication, coordination and collaboration between city and non-profits

Improve Downton lighting

Work on traffic and parking issues.

Was headmaster at LHS for 19yrs.  Strongly in favor of downtown location due to access/transportation, and jobs and services for students.  Good integration with UML and MCC.

Provide opportunity for councilors to discuss their visions for the city 2-3yrs out.

Most people have 1 thing in common:  they the city to be a safe/great/positive place to live/work.

 

Q&A:

What about veterans:  Very important.

Can public participate in plastic bag ban proposal?  Councilor Carillo says – yes environment subcommittee will involve the public.

Lighting:  historic fixtures will remain – just new LEDs

Will work with Nick on parking rates.

LTC coverage of meetings and election issues

Coordinate with state on transportation issues; construction will makes things worse before they get better.  (e.g. bridge closings etc…)

Arborist – dead trees?  In general this is where the increased involvement with neighborhood groups can help – in terms of bringing issues to the fore.

Will neighborhood subcommittee continue to go out to the neighborhood group meetings?  Councilor Cirillo:  Yes it was a good idea and will continue.

What about overpayment by seniors of garage fees?  This is being worked on.

Lawrence turned down government grant for housing?  All city’s want market rate housing and nice restaurant, etc.  But needs to integrate all types of people.

 

Discussion:

JAMBRA meeting discussed new garage in Hamilton canal district.  Concern is about access to Canal Place III parking.  Green wall may be replaced by printed screens due to question about survivability of green wall plantings in low sunlight area.  Tiered design is still the plan.  Expect to break ground this year.

Lowell Bike Coalition was interested in bike storage.  Answer is that a special caged area and dedicated access for bikes.

Garage will also include some hookups for electric vehicles. – Plan for the future!

 

Parking rate issues:

Maybe the construction cost should be bonded and paid by the future users of the new garages

Lights out on west side walkway.

Ponding water on 2nd floor.

Snow is not removed from secondary exists in the winter.  – Safety issue.

Parking rights are tied to individual condo unit deeds in many cases – and all developments have different situations.

Current parking rates are so complicated that no one knows exactly who should be paying what.

City should formally recognize agreements in place with various condo associations and account for the obligated spaces.

Maybe senior status could be automatically discerned from driver’s license data that is already collected by parking dept.

 

Lowell Open Spaces and Rec Plan meetings starting.  Meeting at Senior Center.  1/25 from 6-8.  More info email openspace@lowellma.gov.

 

Meeting Adjourns at 8:27.

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