Council Preview/Review – A service of Hartford 2000, the coalition of Hartford’s 14 NRZs and the City of Hartford.

Below and attached please find the Review of the November 27th meeting of the Hartford Court of Common Council. If you have any questions, please let me know. Linda

Council Review
Hartford City Council Meeting
Monday, November 27, 2017
 
Prepared by Hartford 2000
 
There were 25 items on the original agenda. No additional items were added to the agenda during the meeting.  The City’s official listing of actions taken on all items on this agenda can be found online at http://www.hartford.gov/townclerk/council-minutes .
 
The next regular Council meeting will be held on Monday, December 11, 2017 at 7 PM preceded at 6 PM by a public comment period. The next regular public hearing will be Monday, December 18, at 7 PM.  All meetings are held in the Council Chambers.
 
ITEMS OF SPECIAL INTEREST
 
 
Motor Vehicle Tax Increase – The Council passed a resolution increasing the motor vehicle tax rate from 32 to 39 mills for the current tax year. The State Legislature had previously set a cap of 32 mills on motor vehicle taxes imposed by all Connecticut towns. The Legislature, through House Bill 1502, recently raised the cap to 39 mills. Towns which have already set their motor vehicle tax rate are able to raise their rate if their legislative body (Council) passes a resolution setting a new rate not to exceed 39 mills. The Mayor is recommending that Hartford raise its rate to 39 mills. (Bronin) (Item #6)
 
Electricity Credits – The Council passed a resolution authorizing a 20-year contract with CT Green Bank through which the City will purchase Virtual Net Metering credits which are expected to reduce the City’s electric bills by approximately $30,000 per year. Virtual Net Metering (VNM) allows entities that generate electricity in excess of their needs to assign the surplus production to the electricity accounts of other entities. A solar array in Thompson, Connecticut, developed by C-TEC Solar, generates excess electricity and “sells” this electricity, in the form of credits, to CT Green Bank. Through a program for municipalities, the City can “buy” these credits from CT Green Bank at a price less than the regular cost of electricity and assign the credit to the City’s electric bill. For example, if the City purchases credits equal to $230,000 for $200,000, the electric bill will be reduced by $230,000, netting the City $30,000 in savings. (Bronin) (Item #9)
 
Commission Renaming – The Council adopted an ordinance renaming the Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues to the Hartford LGBTQ+ Commission. The change is recommended by the current members of the Commission in order to assure that the name is inclusive and reflects the terms used in the community.  (Bronin) (Item #12)
 
Snow & Ice Removal – The Council adopted an ordinance changing requirements for removal of snow and ice by property owners. Currently, the Municipal Code requires that snow be removed from sidewalks and ice-covered sidewalks be cleared or sanded within 6 hours of snow falling or ice forming or within three hours after sunrise if covering occurred during the night. The new ordinance proposes that snow be removed and ice-covered sidewalks made safe “within 6 hours of conclusion of the storm”.  (Concepcion) (Item #13)
 
Library Department – The Council referred, to its Health & Human Services and Labor, Education, Workforce & Youth Development Committees and to Public Hearing, an ordinance which proposes that the Hartford Public Library, a nonprofit, be replaced by a City department called the Department of City Libraries.  The department would have a Director and four divisions – Branches, Programming, Hartford History Center, and Maintenance, Grounds, Buildings, & Vehicles. There shall be a Board of Trustees and a Community Advisory Committee. (Deutsch) (Item 22)
 
 
 
LIST OF ALL AGENDA ITEMS
 
Item #
 
 
  1. Maple Avenue Grant. Approval for acceptance of a $1.4 million grant from the CT Department of Transportation for traffic signal improvements at two intersections: Maple and Retreat and Maple and Jefferson. (Bronin) Referred to Quality of Life & Public Safety Committee
 
  1. Plaza Lease. Authorization of a ten year lease with the owners of State House Square for use and maintenance of the plaza between the Old State House and State House Square. (Bronin) Referred to Operations, Management, Budget & Government Accountability Committee and Public Hearing
 
  1. Quality of Life Grant. Authorization to accept a $2.5 million grant from the CT Dept. of Economic & Community Development for expansion and enhancement of the city’s camera system, purchase of two drones, and traffic calming. (Bronin) Referred to Quality of Life & Public Safety and Planning, Economic Development & Housing Committees
 
  1. HHA Appointment. Confirmation of the Mayor’s appointment of Laura Settlemyer to the Hartford Housing Authority Board of Directors. (Bronin) Passed
 
  1. Rental Housing. Proposal to create a city-wide strategy to combat substandard rental housing and to preserve and increase the city’s affordable and market rate rental housing stock. (Thames, Clarke, Bermudez, Winch, Concepcion, Sanchez) Postponed
 
  1. Motor Vehicle Tax Increase. Approval to increase the motor vehicle tax rate from 32 mills to 39 mills. (Bronin) Passed
 
  1. Ebony Horsewomen. Approval of a 5-year agreement with the Ebony Horsewomen for continued use of a portion of Keney Park as their equestrian center. (Bronin) Passed
 
  1. Budget Transfers. Approval to transfer $1.5 million from unencumbered funds to 8 departments and accounts which had expenditure over-runs in Fiscal year 2016-17. (Bronin) Passed
 
  1. Electricity Credits. Approval to enter into a 20-year agreement with CT Green Bank for purchase of credits generated by a solar array to reduce the City’s electricity bill. (Bronin) Passed
 
  1. ATV Task Force. Acceptance of the recommendations made by the ATV Task Force as a means of eliminating illegal use of all-terrain and off-road motorbikes. (Concepcion, Gale, Sanchez, Thames, Clarke) Passed
 
  1. Snow & Ice Removal. Report by the quality of Life Committee in favor of the proposed ordinance changing the times within which snow and ice must be removed from sidewalks to 6 hours after conclusion of a storm. (Concepcion) (also see #13) Received
 
  1. Name Change. Ordinance changing the name of the Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues to the Hartford LGBTQ+ Commission. (Bronin) Passed
 
  1. Snow & Ice Removal. Ordinance changing the times within which snow and ice must be removed from sidewalks to 6 hours after conclusion of a storm. (Concepcion) (also see #11) Passed
 
  1. School Transportation. Reduction of the Board of Education school transportation budget and increase in number of school crossing guards. (Bermudez) (Submitted to Council on May 23, 2016) Withdrawn
 
  1. Owners Registry. Ordinance requiring owners of residential rental property of 3 units or more to register with the Division of Licenses & Inspections each year. (Clarke) Postponed
 
  1. ID Scanners. Ordinance requiring bars to use electronic scanners on identification cards, after 6 PM, to detect false IDs. (Clarke) Postponed
 
  1. Yard Goats Jobs. Resolution requesting information from the Yard Goats on how many Hartford residents will be hired and whether the Yard Goats will comply with the City’s Living Wage Ordinance. (Clarke, Deutsch, Winch, Bermudez, Jennings) (Submitted to Council on Feb. 14, 2017) Withdrawn
 
  1. Defined Contribution Plan. Ordinance establishing a defined contribution retirement plan for non-union employees hired on or after July 1, 2017. (Bronin) Postponed
 
  1. ES&T Director. Confirmation of the Mayor’s appointment of Susan M. Webster as the Director of Emergency Services & Telecommunications effective October 2, 2017. (Bronin)  Passed
 
  1. H&HS Director. Confirmation of the Mayor’s appointment of Liany Elba Arroyo as the Director of the Health & Human Services Department effective December 4, 2017. (Bronin) Passed
 
  1. CRIA Appointments. Confirmation of the Mayor’s appointment of Maryam Bitar, Cheryl Zeiner, Mubera Becirovic, and Artan Martinaj to the Commission on Refugee & Immigrant Affairs. (Bronin) Passed
 
  1. Library. Ordinance creating a Department of Public Libraries within City government which would replace the Hartford Public Library as a nonprofit. (Deutsch) Referred to Health & Human Services and Labor, Education, Workforce & Youth Development Committees
 
  1. Holiday Business Exchange. Resolution to make the City of Hartford a co-sponsor of the Holiday Business Exchange on Nov. 28 in the City Hall Atrium so that the Minority Construction Council will not have to pay the rental fee for use of the Atrium. (Clarke) Passed
 
  1. Employment. Resolution forbidding any City employee from being employed by another municipality at the same time. (Clarke) Withdrawn
 
  1. Solid Waste Task Force. Appointment of eight individuals to the Hartford Solid Waste Task Force: Millie Arciniegas, Steven Bonafonte, Clarence Corbin, Sharon Lewis, Mark Mitchell, James Sandler, Carmen Sierra, and Angela Skyers. (Jennings) Passed
 
 
If you have any questions about the agenda or wish to be removed from the Council Preview/Review list, please email Linda Bayer at Htfd2000@aol.com .  The Council Preview/Review is a service of Hartford 2000, Inc.
 
 
 
 




Linda A. Bayer
Hartford 2000