June 24, 2008

Busy Agenda Facing City Council

By Michael Lafleur, The Sun, Lowell, Mass.

Jun. 23--LOWELL -- City councilors return to action tomorrow to a slew of items under City Manager Bernie Lynch's portion of the night's meeting agenda and two councilor motions.

Tomorrow's meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the council chamber at City Hall.

As of Friday, no subcommittee meetings had been scheduled. However, the council's environment and neighborhoods/traffic subcommittees are soon expected to resume deliberating whether to change the city's trash-collection program.

The budget for the fiscal year 2009 relies upon revenue from increasing the city's annual trash fee by $25, to $125, and savings from the increased recycling that is expected to result from a pay-as-you-throw system.

Lynch has said he hopes to implement the new trash system by January. In it, residents who pay the $125 fee would receive a specially designated 65-gallon barrel for their weekly trash collection. Additional garbage could be disposed for $1.50 per bag. Recycling would be free.

On tomorrow's agenda are several items related to the recent budget approval, including setting public hearings for ordinance amendments relating to department head salaries and implementing other actions contained in the budget.

Councilors also are being asked to accept the resignations of Historic Board Chairman Reynold Ilg and Hunger/Homeless Commissioner Heather Kerwin.

The council also has scheduled a public hearing for borrowing $35 million to pay for

improvements at the Lowell regional wastewater plant. The bonds that would be sold would be repaid by sewer rates.

Under councilor motions, Councilor Kevin Broderick is requesting Lynch look into the construction of a softball field at LeBlanc Park. Mayor Edward "Bud" Caulfield is requesting the proper department synchronize traffic lights throughout the city, beginning at the Lord Overpass.


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