City Council Preview: Homelessness in Canal District, FY23 Budget and More

 by TWIW StaffMay 9, 2022

WORCESTER - The City Council meets on Tuesday, May 10, to consider orders addressing homelessness in Worcester's Canal District, how the Worcester Redevelopment Authority will oversee The Cove project on Green Street and City Manager Ed Augustus will present the FY23 Annual Operating Budget for the Council's review.

The City Council meets in the Esther Howland (South) Chamber at 6:30 PM. The meeting is also available on Zoom for participants, the city's website and social media channels.

  • City Council Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/91727574825
  • City Council Zoom Phone Number: (929) 205 6099
  • City Council Zoom Access Code: 917 2757 4825

Rivera Asks City to Address Issues of Homeless Population in Canal District

District 4 city councilor Sarai Rivera is asking City Manager Ed Augustus to meet with representatives from the Executive Office of Economic Development, Quality of Life and Homeless Outreach teams, local businesses, the Worcester Housing Authority, Worcester Police Department and Pernet Family Health Services to create an interdepartmental response and plan to address issues relative to the homeless population in the city's Canal District, specifically in the Green Island and Millbury Street area neighborhoods.

Rivera is also asking the city to work with the Worcester Haitian Task Force to provide additional, local level support and funding for Haitian families arriving in the city to seek refuge.  The order calls for support to include housing, legal assistance, jobs, food, furniture, case management support and mental health services.

King Calls for Pair of Reports on The Cove, Denholm Building Projects

City Councilor at-large Khrystian King is asking the city for a pair of reports for both The Cove and Denholm building projects.

King is asking for a report on how the City Manager's office plans to monitor and enforce the Worcester Redevelopment Authority's responsible employer policy and ensure workforce diversity, minority and women business owner contracts and local hiring for The Cove project on Green Street and the WRA's possible acquisition and sale of the Denholm building at 484 Main St.

King is also requesting a report as to how the administration plans to monitor and enforce the WRA's Responsible Employer & Inclusionary Participation Policy (REIPP) with regards to eminent domain takings at both locations.

Augustus to Present Proposed FY23 Operational Budget

City Manager Ed Augustus will present a $778 million FY23 operational budget for the City Council's review. The budget is a 6% increase from the FY22 initial budget and a 2% increase from the final budget.

Augustus highlights improvements and restructuring of the Worcester Fire Department as the "most important investment of the FY23 budget," the second major investment is an expansion of the Worcester Police Department operations to provide a neighborhood-based approach and the third major investment is the expansion of the Department of Inspectional Services.

Proposed increases for the WFD is $3.1 million and WPD is $2.4 million compared to the FY22 operational budget.

One highlight of the Inspectional Services expansion is the recommended creation of a Rental Registry and the hiring of five additional inspectors to enter and assess rental properties in the city for safety and health violations.

The budget also calls for the hiring of a Dispatch Quality Assurance manager for the Emergency Communications Department. This position would work with dispatch operators to improve the response to public concerns and the department's ability to assess issues.

Tuesday's meeting and Augustus' presentation of the proposed FY23 operational budget will be the first of several opportunities for the city council to review the budget before taking an official vote on it.

ThisWeekinWorcester.com will have a breakdown of the proposed budget in the coming days. 

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