Lowell City Council
LOWELL -- You’ve probably seen at least one of world-renowned local artist Mico Kaufman’s bronze sculptures over the years, whether it’s of James Abbott McNeil Whistler outside the Whistler House Museum, the Homage to Women on Market Street, or the statue of French composer Claude Debussy on UMass Lowell’s south campus near the music department.
Another Kaufman sculpture will soon call Lowell home.
The City Council on Tuesday voted 9-0 for the city manager, on behalf of the city, to accept the bronze Indian Maiden sculpture as a gift from Elsie Howell of the Mico H. Kaufman Revocable Trust.
The Indian Maiden, symbolizing the heritage and contribution of Native Americans in this region, will be installed along the Merrimack River.
“As long as she faces the rising sun, she will be a blessing to this city,” said Howell, the life companion and best friend of Kaufman, the famous Tewksbury resident who died in 2016. He was 92.
The Department of Planning and Development will work closely with Howell to choose an appropriate location along the river, and to seek grant funding to cover installation costs. Kaufman and the Greater Lowell lndian Cultural Association always envisioned the sculpture along the banks of the river.
In 1998, the state Department of Environment Management approved the installation of the sculpture on Lowell Heritage State Park property. However, they didn’t have enough funds to purchase the sculpture at the time.
Kaufman kept the sculpture until his death in 2016, with the hopes that someday it would be located along the river.
“The Indian Maiden is another beautiful asset of Lowell’s history,” said Terry O’Connor, representing the Kaufman trust at the City Council meeting.
Many speakers mentioned that the sculpture should be placed near the Pawtucket Falls.
Often, Lowell’s identity is connected to the mills and the lndustrial Revolution. As a result, many don’t focus on the Native American history in the city.
It’s important to raise this level of awareness of Native American history, said members of the Greater Lowell Indian Cultural Association.
“Don’t forget the people who were here first,” said Thomas Eagle Rising Libby, chief of the association. “We haven’t left yet.”
Along with the Indian Maiden, officials plan to install a plaque with a brief history of Native Americans in Pawtucketville.
City Council also:
* Recognized the Mayor’s 2nd Annual Holiday Festival.
* Accepted a report on Starr Avenue Paving.
* Accepted a report on LED Street Lights.
* Accepted a report on Upkeep of School Grounds.
* Received a report on Perry Street.
* Accepted the resignation of Wayne J. Sevigny Sr. from the Lowell Housing Authority.
* Appointed Joanie L. Bernes to the Lowell Housing Authority as the Tenant Representative.
* Reappointed CR Krieger to the Hunger Homeless Commission as the ex-officio member mayor’s designee.
* Accepted the donation of a used van from the LRTA to the Fire Department.
* Increased the cost of living percentage rate for the City Of Lowell Ordinance Employees.
* Transferred $184,835 to purchase a Council on Aging bus.
* Transferred $50,000 to purchase a new Animal Control vehicle.
* Approved a resolution to oppose the FCC proposed funding cut for Public Access Stations.
* Received the Ad-Hoc Election Laws Subcommittee Final Report.
* Amy St. Amaud (representative of residents) requested City Council improve access to Shedd Park and the J.G. Pyne Arts City Magnet School from the neighborhood.
* Requested City Manager allow Youth Build students under the leadership of artist Glen Szegedy to paint and restore statues and the city manger back to a more brilliant beauty.
* Requested City Manager provide an update to the City Council regarding what mechanism that the City has to put in place to uphold our commitment to the emission reductions of the Paris Agreement.
* Requested City Manager have proper department review roadways in the city in order to take advantage of the new State Law, Chapter 90, Section 17C, allowing communities to lower speed limits on busier roads.
* Requested Environment and Flood Issues Subcommittee meet regarding groundwater issues and the Clay Brook Heights.
* Requested City Manager instruct Department of Planning and Development to study downtown this winter and come up with recommendations to attract business and consumers.
* Requested City Manager encourage City Solicitor to engage in mediation with plaintiffs, currently scheduled for Dec. 18, in a good faith effort to resolve the lawsuit in a timely and reasonable fashion which resolution should include a proposed modification of the city’s existing electoral system from an at-large system to a hybrid district and at-large system.
* Requested City Council direct City Manager to break out costs of Transportation and Adult Education from cash contribution provided by the City in the Budget. (Request per School Committee)
* Requested City Council instruct City Auditor to provide members of the School Committee with quarterly reports on the money spent in each line item of the School Department Budget throughout the fiscal year. (Request per School Committee)