By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough-Mayor Arthur Vigeant is asking the City Council to review and act on the recommendations of the city’s Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) Board of Trustees which are included in a report recently submitted to the mayor.
“The trustees have met several times to assess and evaluate the city’s options as it relates to the investment policies of our OPEB contributions,” he said in a communication presented at the council’s April 6 meeting.
Included in the report is a document summarizing the benefits and drawback regarding the city’s options in funding pay for benefits due employees upon retirement.
”Based on their findings, the utilization of an independent company provides the best value to the city while still maintaining control of the portfolio,” said Vigeant.
Also on the agenda was a transfer request in the amount of $5,000,000 to the OPEB.
“This request represents a giant step for our community towards ensuring we do not saddle future generations with crippling costs associated with pension and retiree health insurance obligations,” said Vigeant in his communication.
In moving to refer the request to the Finance Committee, Councilor-at-Large, Michael Ossing, the committee chair, commended the OPEB trustees for “putting the framework together to invest the money.” The trustees will be invited to the Finance Committee meeting when the matter is discussed and acted upon.
In other business, a public hearing was held addressing a request for a zoning amendment presented by attorney Arthur Bergeron, representing developers of the Crabtree Lake Williams development on Lakeside Avenue and Bond Street. In lieu of building nine units of affordable housing in the plan to construct 60 units, the developer is offering to give to the city $50,000 for each of the nine units to fulfill their obligation.
“The city of Marlborough is significantly over the amount required by the DHCD (Department of Housing and Community Development)” said Bergeron. “There is no shortage of affordable housing in Marlborough.”
Ward 6 City Councilor Edward Clancy, speaking in favor, stated it would not require a change in the city’s ordinance but he did not agree with directing the funds to community development.
“Enough goes to community development. I would like to have it all go into the reduction of debt,” he said.
Ward 1 City Councilor Joseph Delano, chairman of the Urban Affairs Committee, said “We’ll decide project by project – keeping things just as they are for now. We will take it up in committee and move it forward.”