City Council Preview: PILOT Program for Fare-Free, Gas Leaks and Women’s History Month

by | Feb 25, 2020 | Headlines, News

WORCESTER – The Worcester City Council returns from a one-week hiatus on Tuesday night, February 25.

Ahead of each City Council meeting, ThisWeekinWorcester.com [TWIW] will provide a preview to help keep readers informed of the on-goings of the city’s governing body.

Each preview will highlight items from the City Council agenda for that week that haven’t already been covered by TWIW.

We’ve found a  couple items that might be of interest to Worcester residents: a proposal for a PILOT program to pay for a fare-free bus system, a report on gas price hikes and gas leaks, and a resolution to officially recognize March as Women’s History Month in Worcester.

 

PILOT Program to Pay for Fare-Free Busing?

If anyone ever writes a biography on City Councilor At-Large Gary Rosen, here’s a title idea: Gary Rosen and the Relentless Pursuit of Fare-Free Busing: The Gary Rosen Story.

There’s no quit in Rosen when it comes to fare-free busing. On Monday night, he rallied people to City Hall for the Council’s Public Transportation Committee meeting — of which he is Chair — in support of a fare-free WRTA.

And on Tuesday night, he’s taking even a bigger bite of the apple. Rosen is proposing that a PILOT [Payment in Lieu of Taxes] program be established to accept voluntary payments from non-profits in the city and use that revenue to implement the fare-free service.

 

Gas Price Increase and Gas Leaks in Worcester

The Department of Public Utilities is holding a public meeting Tuesday night at North high school at 7 PM — while the City Council meeting is taking place — on Eversource’s proposed increase in gas distribution rates.

District 5 City Councilor Matt Wally is requesting another public hearing to be held for those that can’t make both meetings.

Wally is also asking for an update on an Eversource report identifying all the gas leaks in the city. As ThisWeekinWorcester.com reported last fall, there are more than 800 unrepaired gas leaks in the city.

 

Recognizing Women’s History Month in Worcester

District 1 City Councilor Sean Rose is requesting the City Council to go on record and support March 2020 as Women’s History Month in Worcester.

Rose is also recommending that the Council calls upon Worcester’s public officials, community members and residents to celebrate Women’s History Month and actively participate in events celebrating the many achievements of women throughout history.

 

The City Council meets at 6:30 PM in Esther Howland Chamber at City Hall. 

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Patrick Sargent is the founder and lead reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com. He was born and raised on Grafton Hill and is a graduate of Holy Name high school and Worcester State University. Previous to starting TWIW, he worked as a contributing reporter for the Worcester Sun. Before that, over the course of several years, he had stints with GoLocalWorcester, Worcester Magazine, the Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride. He can be contacted at [email protected]