Tree removal update, PWC ban, Mount Carmel development tax treaty high on Worcester City Council’s agenda

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WORCESTER – Along with the first city spending plans US $ 111 million in bailout funds and an application for a loan contract to buy multiple properties from former Becker College, the city council’s agenda on Tuesday also includes reports on tree cutting, watercraft and a tax deal for a major housing proposal.

Tree removal list reduced

Jay Fink, the city‘s public works and parks commissioner, said in a report that the list of more than 90 trees to be removed in the city, more than half of which were in the Newton Avenue North area, to only 11 trees that have to give way for the construction of roads and sidewalks.

Fink said that after the residents Opposition to removing the trees, went back out of town and checked to see if some trees could be saved. He said that each tree was rated for its ability to build a sidewalk around it that met the standards of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Trust fund for affordable housing

City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. asks the council to enact an ordinance to establish a trust fund for affordable housing in the city. He said the fund, which he plans to capitalize in part with US dollars from the U.S. rescue plan law, will provide financial assistance in several areas, including building affordable housing, renovating existing homes to convert them into affordable housing, and helping low-income home buyers.

He also proposes the creation of a seven-person board to oversee the fund, which will include at least one renter of affordable housing in the city.

All or nothing for Indian Lake Ban

City Attorney Michael Traynor told the council’s Veterans Memorial, Park and Recreation Committee He would look early this summer the possibility of a ban on personal watercraft, commonly known as jet skis, on Indian Lake. Local residents said the watercraft are being used dangerously, and bans in other communities have prompted residents of other communities to come into town to use the small, fast watercraft.

The committee preferred a ban on non-residents from using watercraft on the lake, but in a report submitted to the council on Tuesday, Traynor said the city would not allow use of the lake, which the state regards as a great pond may restrict particular class of citizens to further review. He said it appears that the city can only put a total ban on watercraft or have no ban at all.

Tax treaty for the development of Mount Carmelmel

Augustus on Tuesday calls on the council to designate the 22, 24 and 28 Mulberry St. area as a “certified project” and will ask the council to approve a tax exemption for the proposed construction of a five-story building. 371 units of standard market apartment complex on the former site of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

WP East Acquisitions is also proposing a five-story parking garage on the church property. Augustus said in a report to the council that the city has negotiated a 15-year tax exemption for the estimated $ 106 million project with an average annual exemption of 37%.

Tax increase exemptions are similar to financing tax increases, but they are focused on residential projects. Augustus said the developer agreed to comply with the city’s TIF regulations, including local recruitment and diversity goals. He said local support for the exception will allow the developer to apply for state tax credits.

Augustus also said WP East offered $ 150,000 for the move to Cristoforo Colombo Park (East Park) of Joe DiMaggio Little League, who was playing on a baseball diamond on the church property.

Executive session means an early start

The council will meet for its only session on Tuesday in July at 5 p.m. to fit into an executive session to discuss a lawsuit filed against the city to change the way the comprehensive school board is elected. The lawsuit alleges that the city’s full committee election discriminates against color communities.

The Council decided at the beginning of spring it will not contest the lawsuit for working with plaintiffs, which include Worcester Interfaith and the Worcester Branch of NAACP, for working with them to develop a new electoral system for the school board that meets the requirements of federal electoral law.

Contact Steven H. Foskett Jr. at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @SteveFoskettTG

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