By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – The Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) was granted $499,000 to fully fund activities for Fiscal Year 2014 at the June 3 City Council meeting. At the recommendation of the Finance Committee, councilors approved the request made last month by Mayor Arthur Vigeant.
In his communication to the council, Vigeant said: “I am grateful to the City Council for your willingness to embrace the mission of the MEDC and for consistently providing feedback and direction as to how they can build on our shared success, improve their operations, and effectively carry out the directives from city government.”
The council approved the MEDC Master Plan for the city in late March following a series of meetings of the Operations and Overview Committee, chaired by Ward 1 City Councilor Joseph Delano, who had devised a working draft from the 200-page document “Building the New Marlborough Economy.”
The preamble stated that the council is endorsing the objectives of the plan which is “to take strategic action to improve economic opportunities for Marlborough residents and businesses leading to the stabilization of the Marlborough residential tax rate over the long term by increasing commercial values.”
In other related business, councilors referred to the Urban Affairs Committee a communication from Tim Cummings, MEDC executive director, stating that MassDevelopment has granted MEDC $5,000 to apply to the Urban Land Institute's (ULI) one-day Technical Assistance Panel.
During the program, a panel of six to 12 members provides local stakeholders with the information and tools needed to move projects from the back burner to full steam ahead, according to Cummings. Master plans, achieving a broader tax base, market feasibility, and financial structuring are a few examples of how the panel can help a community address land use issues.
On May 16, nearly 60 government and business leaders gathered at the MEDC annual Founders Reception to celebrate a year of growth and successes. State Sen. James Eldridge, D-Acton, state Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough, Vigeant, Council President Patricia Pope and former Mayor Nancy Stevens were among those in attendance.
MEDC Chair Arthur Bergeron, keynote speaker, reflected on 18 months of significant achievements for the organization and the city and congratulated MEDC's leadership and staff for helping to attract and secure the moves of leading retailer TJX Companies, Inc. and Quest Diagnostics into previously vacant Marlborough business sites.