By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – The city of Marlborough is requesting Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to provide infrastructure improvements to McEnelly and Devens streets. The decision was reached following a community meeting conducted recently by the Marlborough Development Authority (MCDA).
“The meeting was well-attended and generated a lot of enthusiasm for the grant,” said Douglas M. Bushman, MCDA executive director.
The proposed scope of the project includes full-depth reconstruction of both streets, including drainage improvements, new water mains where required and the replacement lead water service lines. City officials will submit a CDBG application March 2, and expect to learn of an award in July 2018. If the grant is awarded, construction would commence during the summer of 2019. The proposed project would be constructed with a combination of grant funds and matching funds from the Marlborough Department of Public Works.
The project also includes MCDA officials and project staff walking the designated area with city engineers, beginning at the corner of Washington and McEnelly streets, encouraging residents to come out and discuss the project with them, Bushman stated.
The two streets were selected because they are not throughway streets, meaning the majority of traffic is generated from those that live there, and they are in the approved target area which specifies that 51 percent of the location is considered low to moderate income.
“Those in attendance also supported providing loans to income qualified homeowners to address code compliance issues,” said Bushman. “These loans are typically zero-interest with 50-year terms, meaning that within the 50-year term if they refinance or sell the loan to be paid back but after 50 years the loan is extinguished.”
The MCDA has over $2.5 million of these special loans in Marlborough at the present time. The mission of the MCDA is to preserve the city’s existing housing stock, support the development of new housing opportunities – targeting low-income families – and improve and preserve the existing properties and their landscapes.