By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – Nearly $10 million in grants, transfers and related actions were approved by the City Council at its June 20 meeting. Included was $1 million to the Stabilization Fund to “ensure the city’s fiscal stability,” said Mayor Arthur Vigeant in his communication to councilors.
A second transfer of $1 million was approved to move money to the Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) trust account to help fully fund its retirement benefit liability by 2027.
The mayor also reported receipt of a grant to the Police Department from the Executive Office of Public Safety Highway, Safety Division, in the amount of $12,000, to address high visibility traffic enforcement patrols. Also received was a $2,000 grant for the Fire Department to facilitate the field deployment, training and operational readiness of the mass de-contamination unit to enhance protection of local hospitals during public health emergency situations.
Other monetary moves include year-end transfers of $395,410 to fund requests from the Board of Health, Department of Public Works, Fire Department and Comptroller’s office. Also transferred were $675,745 to Snow and Ice Accounts, and $647,580 from the Economic Development account to fund the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) for fiscal year 2017. Also included was a transfer of $75,000 from Economic Development to the Walker Building feasibility study. The funds are from the local options hotel tax designated for this funding.
In other business, the council discussed the vacancy rates for retail, office and industrial rental space in the city which continues to remain low.
“This detailed review of rental space available throughout Marlborough contains much good news with vacancy rates falling as the city’s economy continues to grow,” Vigeant stated in his report to the council.
Regional Resource Group, Inc., contracted to work as the City’s Assessor, compiled the information using the Assessor’s Annual Income and Expense (I&E) survey completed by local property owners. I&E data was supplemented by onsite inspections of 249 properties and internet research. Vacancy rates have fallen to 11 percent from 22 percent in 2012