New Senior Center approved by council
By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – A new senior center for the city of Marlborough will finally become a reality as the City Council approved at its Nov. 4 meeting a $6.5 million bond to construct the building at Ward Park. Simultaneously they also approved Mayor Arthur Vigeant’s request for a bond for $3 million to construct outdoor recreational facilities to enhance Ward Park.
Both orders passed with 10 councilors in favor and one opposed. Ward 4 City Councilor Rob Tunnera made his decision to vote against the new center after contacting other local senior centers. He said he did not think the building proposed would be large enough to serve the city’s growing senior population. He also said that he had received more negative than positive responses from constituents.
Ward 1 City Councilor Joseph Delano, who had initiated stalling both proposals over the past few weeks, did not support the bond issue for Ward Park reconstruction but spoke in favor of the new senior center. He proposed the bond be scaled down and funds be used to build a community field for general use as opposed to specifically used by competitive sports leagues.
More than 75 residents attended the meeting along with Council on Aging Director Jennifer Claro who said she was “overjoyed.”
“We are pleased with the vote of our local leaders. Ward Park is the right location for our senior center because the beautiful green space that avails itself to the location offers many soft usages for our seniors from gardening, bocce courts, horse shoes, and walking the new trails,” she said.
“We look forward to being a good neighbor to those who enjoy the benefit of living in the Ward Park community.”
James Confrey, chairman of the Council on Aging Board of Directors, as well as a member of the Mayor’s Building Committee, commented on the vote after the meeting.
“I am very pleased that plans for our new senior center are going forward. Ward Park is a perfect location. We will now be able to offer more activities and programs to help members of the senior community enhance their lives with many happier, healthier days ahead,” he said. “We are grateful to Mayor Vigeant and the City Council for making our new senior center become a reality.”
Vigeant’s plan is to build a facility at the northeast end of the park that will have a footprint of 14,500 square feet. He presented a conceptual plan and building layout at a public forum in June. In asking for funding, the Mayor said the land is city-owned which will help expedite the project.
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