LDNA Minutes – February 27, 2023 LTC Gallery Meeting Area

The meeting was called to order at 7:01 PM by Jack Moynihan

Jack Moynihan introduced himself as chair and noted that our past co chair Carolyn Alphen delivered baby Charlotte a few weeks early. Both are doing well. Secretary Bob Casey is away and treasurer Stephen Greene will take notes. Also present were Representative Vanna Howard, Councilor Wayne Jenness, Lowell Public School Superintendent Joel Boyd, Phil Sisson, President of Middelsex Community College (MCC)

  1. Approval of minutes
    The January minutes were approved.
  2. Treasurer’s Report
    LDNA has $1,573.29 in its bank account. The treasurer as per usual reminded the meeting that he would be glad to collect voluntary membership donations after the meeting.
  3. Police Report 
    Police Report Sargent Tracey Kelly of the Lowell Police Department introduced herself. She is a Lowell resident and has been on the LPD for 24 years. Since she is a last minute stand in, she was not prepared to report on downtown crime. She did take questions and comments regarding on ongoing issues. These included: Bar closing issues, including Uber pick up areas; pan handlers; late night drinking in the Roy Garage; numerous overdose responses; graffiti. There is a new tagger. There was a suggestion for a Spring Graffiti clean up and a reminder to call in graffiti to get it on the list for response. The River Walk and Lelacheur Stadium were noted for graffiti; kids on bikes and dirt bikes in the streets were discussed again.
    Resident were reminded of the Snow Parking Ban for that night.
  4. Annual Election
    Having no nominations form the floor, the existing officers:
    • Jack Moynihan, Chair
    • Robert Casey, Secretary
    • Stephen Greene, Treasurer
    • were nominated, moved and voted to serve a new term for 2023.
  5. Guest Speakers
    Representatives from the Downtown Lowell Partnership spoke, Superintendent Joel Boyd led the introduction of the Downtown Lowell Partnership which also includes Representative Vana Howard, Phil Sisson, MCC and the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce (not present). Lowell High is the 2 nd largest high school in Massachusetts and located in the downtown. With 4,000 high school students and ~3,500 Middlesex Community College students, there this a lot of activity, both positive (business activity and $$ spent) and potentially negative (anxiety over crowds and rowdy kids) for downtown. The high school is not an open campus so students should be in school from 7:40 to about 2:40 The objective of the Downtown Lowell Partnership is to foster a safe environment, enhance education and help the downtown to thrive. The Partnership is looking for a few downtown residents to represent the neighborhood at the table for a few hours each month. The objective is improved communications and mutual respect for students, downtown businesses and residents for the benefit of all. Sort of like the “neighborhood of the past” where everyone knew each other and ​ looked out for each other and the neighborhood. The Partnership is just starting and looking for a few interested folks.
  6. General Information
    • Councilor Jenness began with information about a plan for a small open space park on Jackson Street on what is currently a small vacant City lot.
    • Notify Me, https://www.lowellma.gov/list.aspx , on the City web site is available for get notification from City Hall on many departments, the City Council, etc.
    • There has been no further activity on the proposed increase in Parking Fees – fee increases are part of the overall city fees structure which needs review.
    • Nothing to report on the Municipal Election vote for an elected mayor.
    • Hamilton Canal Development should consider mixed use. Commercial development has been languishing since Covid. The dirt pile on Parcel 15 (side of NPS parking lot) will be moved Textile donation and disposal will be reported at our next meeting. Textiles are banned from trash. Looking for guidance on how to best manage.
    • Downtown trash barrels have been overflowing. Should be picked up twice a week, but some staff and weather problems. Comment that there has been business and residential misuse of these thrash barrels.
    • Stephen Greene asked attendees to encourage support of the MA Labeling of Flushable Wipes bills – SD 1211 and HD 2639. Wipes have created serious sewer clogs for municipalities as well as buildings, leading to environmental release of sewage and building damage/expense. The snow parking ban announcement this evening included a message of no parking within 20 feet of an intersection. Vehicles parking too close to an intersection can block plows, fire trucks and rubbish trucks.
    • Some of the snowbanks at downtown intersections blocked access to the pedestrian walk buttons.
    • Traffic flow from Middlesex on to Thorndike going south at the Lord Overpass is a dangerous and needs attention during this phase of the construction.
  7. Adjourn Meeting
    adjourned at ~ 8:35
    Next Meeting will be in person at Lowell Telecommunications, Monday, March 27 at 7 PM
    Submitted by Stephen Greene, secretary pro tem

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