Marlborough City Council approves budget
By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – The City Council approved a spending plan for next year’s city budget at $132.1 million at its June 3 meeting. Councilors agreed with the recommendations of the Finance Committee, cutting just under $742,000 from Mayor Arthur Vigeant’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2014.
Finance Committee Chair Michael Ossing said the final total is an increase over this year of $5.4 million, or 4.3 percent. The average amount of budget increases adopted by the council the past seven fiscal years is just under 3 percent. The budget for FY 2013 totaled $127.1 million.
Several councilors had high praise for Ossing on the series of well-planned, well-executed budget hearings held during the past several weeks which provided clarity on the mayor’s recommendations, substantiated by city department heads.
Ward 1 City Councilor Joseph Delano thanked Ossing for his “guidance and leadership,” adding that “the mayor did a good job, too.”
In presenting the budget to the City Council earlier this month, Vigeant noted that this is the first full year the city is paying the bonds on the Easterly and Westerly treatment plants renovations.
In the listing of local aid and revenue, Vigeant said in a communication: “Based on the figures passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives, overall local aid increased by 2.6 percent or $593,282. With anticipated local aid and local receipts, the impact to the taxpayers’ projects would be less than a 2 percent increase on the property tax levy.”
In other business, councilors denied once again a request from the Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School to waive permitting fees on the school’s repair project.
In a communication sent to City Council President Patricia Pope, Lynn Ryan, chair of the Assabet Building Committee, said: “The purpose of this letter is to request your reconsideration of your action and allow a dialogue on this important issue. Please allow us to meet with you or a subcommittee to provide pertinent information that was not weighed into your decision.”
Despite several attempts made by Ward 6 City Councilor Edward Clancy, also a member of the Assabet Building Committee, to grant the request to meet, councilors ultimately voted to accept the communication and place it on file.
“I think we should allow them to come in and meet face to face and hear their thought process,” said Clancy. “You can still turn them down. They save us a lot of money rehabilitating city buildings and provide great education for many of the city’s children.”
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