7:37 p.m. A late start after a long meeting with school committee prior. Here we go.
7:38: Eddy asks to go back to issues with National Grid. He asks Mayor Lukes to schedule a representative from National Grid to attend a Council meeting to answer councilor’s questions regarding the company’s timeline for city work.
7:42: Haller thanks the committee for providing an in-depth energy efficiency and conservation program quarterly report. She asks when a task force will be formed. A representative says she hopes by the end of December.
7:48: A lot of talk between Councilor Smith and City Manager Mike O’Brien about reducing our carbon footprint. The manager says the paybacks and savings for implementing wind and solar energy sources “aren’t as robust” and will look towards government aid to help fund such projects.
7:51: Residents stands to speak about tree replanting.
7:54: She says they’ve been “told untruths from the beginning” when the Asian Longhorned Beetle first hit her area. “I feel like you’re forcing many loyal residents out of Worcester.” She says all they want is their trees replaced, and it doesn’t seem right that they have to fight for this basic thing.
7:56: The second resident stands with photos showing before and after shots of his neighborhood showing the amount of trees that have been lost, as well as one photo showing a high level of river water that he claims has never reached that level, and says it is due to the lack of tree canopy.
8:05: Councilor Germain expresses concern about a “monstrous salt pile” on Southbridge Street in an area where there are several auto businesses and the harm a flood would do to the vehicles. He asks the commissioner where the pile came from. The commissioner says it’s a privately owned pile and doesn’t seem to share Germain’s concern of flooding causing salt water destruction to the vehicles.
8:18: Councilor Haller raises a concern that residents are using public trash barrels for their household waste like diapers, rather than what the barrel’s original intent for things like an empty bag of chips. She asks for an ordinance that makes it illegal for people to dispose of household trash in public barrels.
8:21: The House Bill 834 requires that the city releases up to 75% of water that is being taken in. As a result, the reservoir water would be at a lower level and it would insist that businesses demand for water be lessened. The commissioner says a business like Polar would have to truck in the extra water they would need to operate. The commissioner expects that an outdoor water use ban would be implied. Councilor Clancy expresses great concern for local businesses such as UMass, the city’s largest water user.
8:36: Councilor Rosen wants to let the public know a demonstration by the USDA will be done Nov. 15 from 2-4 p.m. in University Park on how injections will be done to trees associated with the Asian Longhorned Beetle.
8:38: Rosen also wants to make sure host trees, trees that are not yet infested, will not be cut down. The commissioner says that at this time they do not plan to take down host trees, only trees that are already infested.
8:40: Surprise, surprise. Councilor Smith rises to advocate for more funding to eradicate infested trees in Worcester.
8:49: Marketing Manager for Walmart’s Central Massachusetts stands to say he’s pleased and excited to open the first Walmart next spring.
8:50: Clancy stands recognizing the new Walmart that will open March 17 is in his district located in the Crossing. He says he’s very excited, and excited with the developer. He says it will mean “1 million dollars in taxes to the city of Worcester” and will employee “probably close to 800 to 1,000 people”. He ends with a warm welcome.
8:53: Rosen comments on the Walmart Community Day event giving seasonal flu shots he brought his mother to. He jokes he’s glad it wasn’t the USDA giving the injections.
9:18 Mayor Lukes is on the floor to represent her position as Councilor-at-Large. She’s asking that the rule that candidates for Worcester for Executive Management positions must be Worcester residents either be amended or eliminated. She says we’re missing out on the best talent by narrowing our scope to Worcester-only residents. She hopes we can take advantage to all Central Massachusetts persons.
9:21: Councilor Petty wants to have a discussion about this and go from there. He requests that the City Manager collect information on what other cities do for residency requirements.
9:22: Councilor Toomey says “take care of our own first” and says we really need to support our own citizens first. She always says she’s willing to look at it, but thinks “we’re going down a slippery slope trying to micro-manage.”
9:34: Rosen wishes Joff Smith a happy 29th birthday tomorrow. He reminds him that he’s still too young to run for higher office.
Now, they go into Executive session.