By Joan F. Simoneau, Contributing Writer
?Marlborough – Increased business and residential development on the west side of the city have prompted Marlborough councilors to ask Mayor Arthur Vigeant to consider building a new fire station in that area.
In a communication presented at the July 22 City Council meeting, City Council president Patricia Pope and Ward 3 City Councilor Matt Elder requested that the mayor “discuss with the police and fire chiefs the options to extend emergency services including a new fire station on the lot donated to the city by MetLife, the construction of a smaller “satellite” emergency services station, a partnership with Northborough, or any other available option.”
During recent discussions on a proposal for the AvalonBay complex, the need for additional safety measures was voiced by Police Chief Mark Leonard and Fire Chief James Fortin. If approved, AvalonBay developers will build 340 apartments in a campus-style design at the former Hewlett Packard site on Forest Street. Another mixed-use project is also being considered for the area and would add more strain on available emergency services, Elder stated.
The mayor was asked to explore the costs associated with any available options and report his findings to the City Council within 90 days.
In other business, the mayor presented a $12.9 million bond request for high priority projects in the city. The lion's share of the funds will go to the Department of Public Works for street maintenance, construction projects and equipment.
Targeted for reconstruction are the following streets: Bolton (Main to Union), Church (Hildreth to Plymouth), Girard, Howland, Tremont, Houde, Brimsmead, Richard Road, and Simarano Drive, along with sidewalk construction and repair of sidewalks in the 1LT Charles W. Whitcomb Middle School area. Also included in the request is replacement of equipment for the Fire, Police and Information Services departments and a number of infrastructure and building maintenance projects.
The fiscal year 2014 bond proposal was sent to the Finance Committee for study and recommendation to the full council for its Aug. 26 meeting.
In other business, councilors referred to the Personnel Committee the mayor's appointment of Brian Doheny as the new comptroller/treasurer for the city, replacing Thomas Abel, who is retiring after holding the position since 1994. Doheny is currently treasurer/collector and director of finance and administration for the city of Fitchburg.
Lawmakers also approved the mayor's reappointment of Police Chief Mark Leonard for a four-year term.