Council Approves Parking Authority
There were 21 items on the regular agenda. Fifteen were added
on the supplemental agenda and two were walked in during the
meeting. The next Council Meeting will be November 9.
Hartford Parking Authority - The Council voted to create
a municipal parking authority. This ordinance will now replace
the section of the Municipal Code which was dedicated to the
Hartford Civic Center and Coliseum Authority. The Council also
passed a resolution directing Corporation Counsel to prepare
amendments to the ordinance to address issues around revenues
and cash flows.
Billboard Task Force - On the recommendation of Council
members Sanchez, Park, and Marotta, the Council passed a resolution
creating a task force to reassess Hartford's billboards policy.
The task force will be composed of representatives from the
billboard industry, the City Council, city staff, and the community.
The task force will meet until March 31, 1999. Some representatives
of the billboard industry have agreed to voluntarily refrain
from building new billboards during the six month period while
the task force is deliberating.
Restriction of Outpatient Services - The Council was preceded
by a Public Hearing on an ordinance which will restrict the placement
of medical clinics. If enacted, medical clinic outpatient services
could not be provided in a building within 750 feet of any building
which serves as a residence. The Commission on the City Plan
recommended rejection of the ordinance because it would restrict
outpatient services to areas where public transportation is limited.
At least forty residents stood to show support for the ordinance
during the Public Hearing. Representatives of those in favor
of the ordinance expressed concern that a methadone clinic which
is trying to relocate to a site on North Main Street, would discourage
business and increase crime in the area. No one spoke against
Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority Funds - The Connecticut
Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA) has given Hartford $717,438
from surplus funds related to its Mid-Connecticut Project. The
Council voted to accept the funds and disperse them to Hartford
projects that had not received CDBG funds or funds from the annual
budget. Some of the projects receiving funds include: the Farmington
Avenue Corridor Study ($50,000), Riverfront Recapture Development
($60,000), Mi Casa Project for Youth ($109,000), and sidewalks
on the North side of Airport Road ($200,000).
Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority Study - The Council
also voted to formally request that the CRRA join with the Hartford
Health Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the
University of Connecticut in studying health concerns of city
residents. Residents have complained of possible contamination
of air and water around the landfill and trash-to-energy plant:
both are CRRA facilities. The resolution calls on the CRRA to
fund the investigation.
Block Watch Organizers - On the recommendation of the
Quality of Life, Housing and Public Safety Committee, the Council
passed 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 to hire block watch organizers
to "increase community participation in neighborhood problem
solving" and to support neighborhood problem solving committees
and several youth employment programs.
Hartford Parks Trust Fund - The Council postponed voting
on two Hartford Parks Trust Fund ordinances. 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 has recommended passage
of the second ordinance. Both ordinances have been to Public
Safe neighborhoods Program - The Council referred to the
Quality of Life, Housing and Public Safety Committee a resolution
which will authorize the City Manager to accept $443,000 from
the state Safe Neighborhoods Program. Part of the money will
go to pay salaries of Hartford police officers ($400,000); the
remainder will fund crime prevention activities carried out by
Hartford Areas Rally Together. This is the sixth and final year
of the program.
If you have any questions about the agenda, call the Council
at 522-4888 or CREN at 249-1416. The Citizens' Research Education
Network is a non-profit information center for Hartford community-based