By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – Leery of the impact of a proposed affordable housing project in the Ames Street area, the City Council requested during its Aug. 27 meeting that the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) review the project's plans.
Last year the Gutierrez Company proposed another plan that suggested construction of 290 units of affordable housing in the same area, but then withdrew the application. At a public hearing at that time, several residents in the area voiced strong objections citing problems with water conditions and heavy traffic that would evolve if the project were approved. They also expressed concern regarding the impact on city schools that would occur with the potential addition of many school-age children and the added burden to Fire and Police departments.
At the request of Ward 3 Councilor Matt Elder, lawmakers at the council's Aug. 27 meeting agreed to send a statement to the ZBA to ask that the prime commercial property be preserved. They also noted that adding a residential complex on the land will significantly diminish its value and subsequent tax revenue to the city.
The communication states: “The city of Marlborough has worked hard to meet its 40B [affordable housing] percentage, while other towns have fallen way short. Also, adding 350 residents to the area is extremely dangerous from a public safety standpoint.”
Elder also cited the additional burden on the Fire Department if the project were approved.
In other business, councilors approved Mayor Arthur Vigeant's request to appoint Deborah Fox as collector for a one-year term. Fox will replace Deborah Puleo, who vacated the position. Michael Mendoza was also approved as building commissioner for a three-year term. Vigeant's request to reappoint James Confrey and Brenda Costa to the Council on Aging for a period of four years each was sent to the Personnel Committee, which is chaired by Ward 4 Councilor Robert Tunnera.
The council also accepted a communication from the mayor regarding the resignation of interim Principal Assessor Daniel Brogie.