By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – Members of the Marlborough Downtown Village Association have taken a giant step forward, changing the status from a thriving grassroots organization to a well-defined nonprofit organization.
At a recent meeting they elected officers and a board of directors to help accomplish their mission – “To create and sustain a district where residents and workers can experience a high quality of life, a district that experiences ongoing cultural growth and serves as a regular attraction to commuting workers and visitors to Marlborough, a district where property and business owners can enjoy ongoing development, prosperity.”
In December 2014 the City Council approved the establishment of the Marlborough Village District, the result of almost a year of meetings of a special committee, city officials, local residents and business owners working to create a design that met the criteria established by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).
Attorney Douglas Rowe was elected president; Mary Scott, vice president; Darlene Welch, secretary; and Randy Scott, treasurer. Serving on the board of directors are Jim Ash, Doreen Howes, Robert Kane, Christina Lombardi, David McCabe, and Susanne Morreale Leeber, president and CEO of the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The new president said he is proud to be leading the group.
“The Rowe family has been in Marlborough for many years. My father was also very passionate about the progress of the city and I look forward to moving forward and pushing a little harder. We have asked Bob Kane to start scheduling special events, like the Taste of Marlborough, and we are giving special attention to updating our website,” said Kane.
Proposed committees to be established soon include: common spaces/signage, economic activities, events/promotions, public art, food/entertainment, parking/access and finance.
The local Downtown association will follow the nationally accredited Main Street Four Point Approach. This methodology provides a comprehensive approach to commercial district revitalization and has been proven successful in over 1,500 cities across the country. The design approach enhances all visual elements – parking areas and improvements, rear entries, signage, murals, sculptures and other artwork, seasonal enhancement with flower baskets and winter lighting.
Commenting on the group’s receiving a Brigham Family Trust grant recently, Mary Scott said, “These gifts have given us the encouragement to pursue additional grant funding to help us follow through with our mission statement and to reach our goals.”
Hiring a director is one of the long term goals of the association, along with signing up a minimum of 100 sustaining paid members, creating a calendar of major events, identifying and applying for funding from foundations as well from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and to design and print a brochure promoting the downtown.