Chicopee City Council approves crosswalk and bike path

Nov. 17, 2020 | Carolyn Noel

CHICOPEE – The Chicopee City Council met on Nov. 5 to discuss 37 motions. Important discussions included talks on crosswalks, construction and maintenance of a new bike path.

The council approved a motion to install a crosswalk at Litwin Lane, Moreau Drive, Olko Circle and Post Road. This motion was filed by Councilor Derek Dobosz. This intersection has a four-way stop in a school zone, and the city’s engineer agreed a crosswalk should be put in for safety, according to Dobosz.

“I really appreciate that this crosswalk is going in, I think the residents should be really happy,” he said.  “I think it’s important that we get a crosswalk there and I think it’s been a long time in the making.”

There were also discussions on putting a crosswalk at Burnett Road by the Country Trading Post. However, this motion was denied.

“We did look at this, we did try to get a crosswalk here, but unfortunately the state overruled us,” said Dobosz.

The council is asking the public to try to walk further down Burnett Road and cross at William’s Park crosswalk in order to remain safe.

Construction of a possible bike path in Ward 3 and Ward 7 was also highlighted. This motion was requested by Councilor Lucjan Galecki. Due to his absence from the meeting, Councilor Frederick Krampits discussed it further. He said that a notice has been sent to the golf range near the possible bike path since there would need to be higher fencing by their driving range. This would help protect people walking along the path. The path would be mown and maintained. The Police Department has also said they would have reserve police to control the path, so safety would not be an issue, according to Krampits.

The Fire Department has also said that with the installation of a bike path, there would be improved access for them. The department would be able to get smaller vehicles through in case of a rescue or event that needed to occur.

“Essentially it seemed that the departments were on board and ready to take responsibility when this was completed for maintenance and patrolling and other things with the path,” said Krampits.

The bike path motion was passed.

The council then discussed license grants, special permits and renewals. All on the agenda were passed, except for one. The denial was a special permit application for a second residential unit within a building business. A previous special permit was allowed for one residential unit at 104 Lauzier Ter.

Councilor George Balakier expanded on this denial. He spoke of how there was a strong opposition from neighbors for this second unit addition. The applicant of this permit failed to meet many performance standards, according to Balakier. His plan had potential for creating nuisance and was not in compliance with the Chicopee City Code.  

The councilors also spoke on how the city of Chicopee has paid high unemployment expenses over the last few months. They discussed how some people received unemployment wrongfully due to scam and that the auditor is aware of this. They spoke on how Chicopee will be reimbursed for this so they won’t be out of the money they paid people who were involved with fraud.

According to the council, there seemed to be several part time and seasonal employees collecting unemployment during the off-season. There also seemed to be fraud where people received an unemployment check from the government and were also paid by the city when they were still employed.

The council then ended the meeting by discussing more permits and license renewals.

Should a resident wish to see the entirety of the City Council meeting, they can view it on the ChicopeeTV Facebook Page.

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