"Green Initiatives" Transfer
The Council agreed to transfer $2,500 from the Green Initiatives Special Revenue fund to complete a survey of Newburyport street lights. The City currently does not have accurate mapping of street light locations. National Grid can provide a list of street lights based on pole numbers; the City Planning Departments most recent list is from 1997. The transfer will be used to create an editable database and map with each light's GIS position. The money is coming from a $400,000 rebate from the Nock solar energy project, a fund which is to be used for 'green initiatives'.
The Council approved the transfer by a 6-5 vote. I voted to approve the transfer. Before we continue to talk about turning off streetlights or installing more efficient lighting, we need accurate information.
The Council approved by a 11-0 vote to transfer $50,000 for emergency repairs to the water treatment plant 'clearwell'. The clearwell is a critical part of our drinking water system. The transfer will enable the City to hire divers to enter the clearwell and repair cracks which have been discovered in recent months. Failure to make these emergency repairs could disrupt the City's water supply. The funds are being temporarily transferred within the Water Enterprise Fund from a line item to eventually repaint the Rawson Hill water tank near Anna Jaques Hospital. When the Water Enterprise Fund final FY 10 balance is certified in the Fall, the $50,000 will be transferred back to the painting project.
The Rawson Hill water tank painting project is tentatively planned for 2011 and will be done in such a way as to mitigate any impacts to the neighborhood and hospital.
Sewer and Water Bond Orders
The Councill agreed 11-0 and 11-0 to set in motion orders to finance $500,000 for improvements to the City's Crow Lane Sewer Pump Station and $18,750,000 for making major improvements to the City's water system, which is in major need of upgrade (see comments on clearwell above).
These matters have been referred jointly to the Council's Public Utilities and Budget & Finance Committees. A meeting has been set for Thursday, August 12 at 7PM at City Hall.
Community Preservation Act
The Council approved 11-0 the recommendations of the Community Preservation Committee.
Specifics on the projects can be found at http://www.nbpt.us/Planning/Community%20Preservation%20Committee/Documents/FY11%20Recommended%20Order%20for%20City%20Council%206-22-10.pdf
The CPC page can be found at http://www.nbpt.us/Planning/CPCPage.html
Disposal of Animal Waste
The Council voted to approve an increase for fines for failure to remove and dispose animal waste by the owners of their animals. The fine currently is $10 for first offense and $20 for subsequent offenses. The increase will be to $50 for first offense, $75 for second offense, and $100 for third and subsequent offenses. The Council also voted to remove language which made it illegal to dispose animal waste in municipal receptacles.
The current language is:
Sec. 3-2. Disposal of animal waste.All persons owning or in custody of an animal will be responsible for the removal and disposal of that animal's waste which may not be placed in any receptacle owned by the city or in privately owned receptacles other than the owners. The fine for violation of this provision for the first offense shall be ten dollars ($10.00) and the second and subsequent offenses shall be twenty dollars ($20.00).(Ord. of 11-14-84)
The new language will be:
Sec. 3-2. Disposal of animal waste.All persons owning or in custody of an animal will be responsible for the removal and disposal of that animal's waste. The fine for violation of this provision for the first offense shall be fifty dollars ($50.00), the second offense shall be seventy-five dollars ($75.00) and subsequent offenses shall be one hundred dollars ($100.00).
Next Council meeting is Monday, August 30.