City Council approves fund for hurricane clean-up

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By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter

City Council approves fund for hurricane clean-up Marlborough – To meet the immediate expenses associated with the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, the City Council, at the request of Mayor Nancy Stevens, voted at its Aug. 29 meeting to transfer $100,000 to a special account.

Councilor-at-Large Steven Levy requested the suspension of rules to introduce the request because of its urgency.

“National Grid continues to work to restore the major transmission service lines to the city, and has made significant progress bringing customers back on line,” Stevens said. “Much of the city, however, remains without power.”

City Auditor Diane Smith has set up a special account for expenses associated with the emergency. These expenses include, but are not limited to, debris-hauling costs and fuel for on-site equipment as well as overtime coverage, according to Stevens. She added that she anticipates there will be state and federal reimbursement for storm-related expenses.

Council President Arthur Vigeant publicly thanked the local Department of Public Works, Police and Fire departments and other city groups for their outstanding service during the storm.

In other business, a communication from Stevens that asked for approval of a Building Renovation Bond Authorization in the amount of $7.5 million was referred to the Finance Committee for review and advertising. The funding will be used for new windows, doors, roofing, air conditioning and heating at Marlborough High School and new windows and doors at Kane Elementary School, according to Director of Buildings John Ghiloni.

“The city will receive a reimbursement of 54.16 percent from the Massachusetts School Building Authority,” he said.

During the meeting, seven public hearings on applications for special permits from AT&T Wireless were also held. Only one resident, David LoVecchio of Elm Street, spoke in opposition during one hearing – a request to accommodate three additional panel antennae for 4G wireless network, associated cabling and equipment at 445 Simarano Dr. Michael Dolan represented AT&T throughout the hearing process and fielded questions from councilors.

Ward 6 Councilor Edward Clancy, chair of the Wireless Communications Committee, interjected points of clarity and information during the hearings. Most modifications to existing special permits were for updates to the wireless networks and to replace old units, which would allow AT&T to provide the newest technology to their local users.

The City Council unanimously approved (except Councilor-at-Large Patricia Pope, who was absent) the mayor's request to award a grant from the Public Safety and Security, Highway Division, to the Police Department in the amount of $18,945 for the purchase of an Automated License Plate Reader.

In other business, the Personnel Committee, chaired by Ward 1 City Councilor Joseph Delano, approved appointments and reappointments recommended by the mayor and reported them out of committee to the full council.