City Council – 03/11/2009

DATE 03/11/2009
TIME 7:30 pm
ADA Yes
LOCATION Council Chamber, Woburn City Hall, Common Street, Woburn, MA, United States

Meeting Agenda

Below is the pasted journal for ADA Compliancy. See attachment to download the full version.

CITY OF WOBURN

MARCH 11, 2009 – 7:30 P.M.

REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL

 

Roll Call

                                                Denaro                       Gonsalves

                                                Drapeau                      Mercer-Bruen

                                                            Galvin – Absent          Raymond

                                                Gately                         Wall – Absent

Doherty

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VOTED to dispense with the reading of the previous meeting’s Journal and to APPROVE, 7 in favor, 0 opposed, 2 absent (Galvin, Wall absent).

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Voted that Joyce M. Gray be named Clerk of the City Council, Pro-Tem, for the Special Meeting of March 11, 2009, 7 in favor, 0 opposed, 2 absent (Galvin, Wall absent).

 

I do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and will support the Constitution thereof, as Clerk of the City Council, Pro-Tem, so help me God.

 

I do hereby accept the position of Clerk of the City Council, Pro-Tem, to act in this capacity for the purpose of the Special City Council Meeting of March 11, 2009, and do hereby promise to act in accordance with the statutes and ordinances to the best of my ability.

 

________________________________

Joyce M. Gray

 

Sworn before me this 11th day of March, 2009.

 

________________________________

Charles E. Doherty, President

Woburn City Council

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VOTED to dispense with the reading of the previous meeting’s Journal and to APPROVE, all in favor, 8-0-1 (Galvin absent).

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Pursuant to Rule 31 of the Rules and Orders of the City Council, the President of the City Council has called for a Special Meeting of the City Council for Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Woburn City Hall, 10 Common Street, Woburn, Massachusetts for the purposes of receiving public comment regarding the preparation and submission of an application for the FY 2009 Massachusetts Public Works Economic Development (PWED) Program relative to roadway improvements on Dragon Court and Constitution Way and for any other matter that may be legally before the City Council.

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Public hearing for the purposes of receiving public comment regarding the preparation and submission of an application for the FY 2009 Massachusetts Public Works Economic Development (PWED) Program relative to roadway improvements on Dragon Court and Constitution Way. PUBLIC HEARING. Appearing before the City Council was Donald Borchelt, Executive Director, Woburn Redevelopment Authority and he stated that this is for a grant under the PWED program, that the project would connect Constitution Way to Dragon Court, that the current grant deadline is March 13, 2009, that the application will not be complete and the city will apply during the Fall 2009 round, that more time is needed to complete the plans, that the road will run from the end of Constitution Way across to Dragon Court just above Florence Terrace, that there is a plan to construct a culde-sac just above Florence Terrace which will end with a fire gate to only be used for emergencies, that this will eliminate the business traffic on the street, that Constitution Way to Dragon Court just past Florence Street will be the commercial traffic entrance and exit, that the zoning district may be an issue, that Robert Murray owns the property, that the road will divide the property into two parcels, that the preliminary cost estimate is $20,000.00 for project management, $50,000.00 for engineer design, $240,000.00 for land acquisition and $650,000.00 for construction with a total estimated project cost of $970,000.00. Alderman Mercer-Bruen stated that this project will get the city where it wants to go but will take time, that all parties must be involved in the process, that the application cannot be submitted until all issues are worked out, and that this project will separate the industrial area from the residential area. Alderman Gonsalves stated that this is a good project but that she is concerned about whether there will be a sufficient buffer but this can be handled through zoning. Mary Ventura, 478A Washington Street and Dragon Court stated that she has resided there for over fifty years, that this street has developed into a commercial and industrial traffic cut through with the traffic getting worse, that this will be an improvement to eliminate the truck traffic which blocks Washington Street and all the employees entering the industrial area at all time of the day, that the traffic has made Dragon Court a dirty street, and that she understands that there may be some issues with the cul-de-sac but she appreciates the efforts to make the street better. Paul Meaney, Executive Director, Woburn Business Association, Ten Tower Office Park, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 that this project will improve Dragon Court for the residents, that it is an excellent project that will help the residents and the businesses, and that the city should work hard to make this happen. Craig Carswell, Lytron Inc., 55 Dragon Court stated that the business has been located in Woburn for 45 years, that the company employs over two hundred people, that this project will provide better access for employees and truck traffic, and that this project may allow company to grow. Payson Greene, Brannen Brothers Flutemakers, 58 Dragon Court stated that this will help with water runoff issues, that he wants to know if the street will be public or whether an easement would be granted, and he wants to know if pedestrians will be able to get through the gated area as people like to walk and ride bicycles in that area. Mayor Thomas McLaughlin stated that this proposal is a very reasonable compromise and that the City Council will work hard to please both the residents and the industries in the area. Steve Clark, Washington Street stated that he is in favor of the petition. Tim Swain, 29 Dragon Court stated that he is in favor of the cul-de-sac, that there are a few issues that have to be worked out, that he is not in favor of the gate, that the gate over time will probably come down, that he does not have problems with people walking in the area, that he does not want racing, traffic and trash in the area, that water runoff has been a concern in the area for some time, that the grade of the neighboring lot was changed and the runoff from the lot causes flooding in his basement. President Doherty stated that the gate was added at the request from the Fire Department and that the City Engineer can look at the runoff issue. Chris Owen, 3 Florence Terrace stated that a lot of work has been done with this project, that it is a good idea, that he wants to know what will happen if the city does not receive the grant, that Constitution Way already has a curbcut, that he wants to know how big the buffer zone will be, that the plan should move forward but there should be agreement with the neighbors as to where the buffer zone and zoning line will be, that there are two other locations where the access can be gained such as one hundred feet further north, that the application should not be submitted until all concerns are addressed, that the City Engineer has to look at alternative locations for the road, and that the city should obtain input from the residents. Mary Owen, 3 Florence Terrace stated that it will be an advantage to everyone to keep the traffic off Dragon Court and that she asks that all issues be considered. Attorney John McElhiney, McElhiney and Matson, 607 Main Street, Woburn stated that he represents the landowner Robert Murray, that this is a new plan to his client, that his client was asked if he would be supportive of the plan, that there are pros and cons to the proposal, that his client had a plan to develop a office park, that he needs to know where the road will go, that the proposal affects the value of the Constitution Park properties, that if the north side was rezoned so that his client could develop the property that would be beneficial, that his client would be happy to work out the issues, that his client will not stand in the way of the project, and that he tentatively supports the project. Mr. Green stated that he learned of this public hearing this evening and wants to be put on a mailing list to businesses and residents of the area.

Alderman Mercer-Bruen stated that there is a lot more work to do on this proposal.

Motion made and 2nd to close the public hearing, 7 in favor, 0 opposed, 2 absent (Galvin, Wall absent). Motion made and 2nd that an ad hoc committee be established to address the potential redevelopment of Constitution Park and Dragon Court, 7 in favor, 0 opposed, 2 absent (Galvin, Wall absent).

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ORDERED     That a public hearing be held by the City Council to receive input from the community concerning the future of the Clapp Elementary School and

 

Further, that His Honor the Mayor, the Superintendent of Schools and the School Committee be invited to the public hearing.

 

s/President Doherty

 

President Doherty stated that the hearing will be an overview to get the best information out to the community about what will happen to the Clapp School, that the meeting will bring together the community, that there has been discussion that the building be used as a swing school or be closed, that he has not seen anything indicating the Clapp School has to be closed, that there was only one public hearing held, that the teachers and parents at the Clapp School want to know what is happening, that the Woburn Housing Authority wants to claim the land, that the City Council needs information about the process, that the School Committee voted to endorse the plan of closing the Clapp School to expand the Goodyear School, that the City Council will have to vote to build a new school building, that the planning had to address the needs of the residents, that he wants to know the future of the Clapp School, that if the school building will be used as a swing school the City Council needs to know that, that measurements were taken for portable rooms, that the School Committee may not have the information that the City Council wants but any information will be helpful, and that the public hearing will start the process. Alderman Raymond stated that the School Committee has control of the school buildings until they need money to run them, that the City Council controls at budget time, that the City Council can get answers to these questions, and that the City Council should request more details and information on the plans for the schools in certain areas of the city. Alderman Gately stated that the Veterans School was closed and converted to the Senior Center, that the Plympton School was closed and is underutilized, that the same process will occur for the Clapp School, that the School Committee needs to redistrict the schools, that he wants to know where the savings will be, and that the city needs to know where the children will go to school. Alderman Mercer-Bruen stated that the Clapp School property is extremely valuable, that the School Committee has difficulty dealing with redistricting, that the School Committee will not be able to answer the questions next week, and that the city needs to know what will be done with the school when it is closed. Alderman Gonsalves stated that the City Council will need two meetings, that one meeting will be to look at the vision of the future schools, that the second meeting will be to determine what will be done with the Clapp School, that the City Council can hold a forum or have the Planning Department hold a forum as they did for the Vision 2020 project, and that the City Council needs this information before it can vote on the funding for the Goodyear School. Alderman Denaro stated that the school building is under control of the School Department as the governing body, and that  there should not be a public hearing as this is under the jurisdiction of the School Department. Motion made and 2nd that the ORDER be ADOPTED, 6 in favor, 1 opposed (Denaro opposed), 2 absent (Galvin, Wall absent).

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ORDERED     That the Regular Meeting of the City Council scheduled for April 21, 2009 be rescheduled for April 28, 2009.

 

s/President Doherty

 

Motion made and 2nd that the ORDER be ADOPTED, 7 in favor, 0 opposed, 2 absent (Galvin, Wall absent).

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Motion made and 2nd to ADJOURN, all in favor, 9-0. Meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

 

A TRUE RECORD ATTEST:

 

 

 

Joyce M. Gray

Assistant City Clerk and

Clerk of the City Council, Pro Tem

 

 

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