October 21 - 28, 1998

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CREN's Council Review October 13th Meeting


Council Eases Building Fee Waivers
There were 29 items on the regular agenda. Fifteen were added on the supplemental agenda: two were walked in at the meeting. The meeting was held on Tuesday because of the Columbus Day Holiday.

Hartford Parking Authority - The Council voted to postpone action on an ordinance which will create the Hartford Parking Authority. If enacted, this ordinance would replace the section of the Municipal Code which is dedicated to the Hartford Civic Center and Coliseum Authority. The Operations, Management, Budget, Education, and Labor Committee recommended the ordinance be amended and resubmitted at a new Public Hearing.

Building Fee Waiver Program - The Council passed unanimously an ordinance which will reduce the requirements for having building fees waived. Under the former guidelines building fees can be waived if at least 50% of the workforce and at least 25% of the supplies for any project come from Hartford. The new guidelines will:

1) lower the workforce requirement to 25%;
2) change the qualification for participation to either 25% Hartford residents in the <T>workforce or 25% of the supplies coming from Hartford businesses and;
3) change the formula for reimbursement so that the reimbursement is the sum of the percentage of the labor pool which is Hartford- based and the supplies which are purchased in Hartford.

Housing Fund - Passed on consent was an ordinance which will alter the structure of the city's housing fund. In the past, the housing fund could only be used for preservation or production of housing for low/moderate income persons. Under the new regulation, the limitation to use for low/moderate income housing has been dopped.

Hartford Parks Trust Fund - The Council passed an ordinance which will appropriate $80,000 from the Hartford Parks Trust Fund to purchase iron fencing and plants for Columbus Park and the new Floridia, Italy Sister City Park. The Operations, Management, Budget, Education and Labor Committee recommended passage of the ordinance.

Hartford Parks Trust Fund II - The Council postponed action on two items which had been tabled at its September 28 meeting. The first will appropriate $300,000 for improvements to Batterson Park. The money will be used to construct a new ticket booth, renovate the bath houses, install a new play apparatus and grills, and purchase new sand for the beach. The second will appropriate $825,000 for the restoration of park ponds at Keney Park, Pope Park, Goodwin Park, and Elizabeth Park. The funds will be used for planning and to install filtering devices to improve water quality. The Operations, Management, Budget, Education and Labor Committee recommended passage of the second ordinance. Both ordinances have been to Public Hearing.

Block Watch Organizers - The Council referred to the Quality of Life, Housing and Public Safety Committee a resolution authorizing acceptance of the Department of Justice's 1998 Local Law Enforcement Block Grant funds of $693,166. The funds will be used with grants from two other Department of Justice programs to hire 12 block watch organizers who will work to "increase community participation in neighborhood problem solving." United Connecticut Action for Neighborhoods (UCAN) will train and coordinate the organizers.

If you have any questions about the agenda, call the Council at 522-4888 or CREN at 249-1416.

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