Mayor Arthur Vigeant submitted two bond requests to the City Council Monday – one for $23.7 million for the library renovation and expansion and another for $10 million to build a westside fire station. The Finance Committee will discuss the requests next month.
METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – Two major building projects city officials have said are much needed will go before the Finance Committee next month.
Mayor Arthur Vigeant Monday submitted two bond requests to the City Council – one for $23.7 million for the library expansion and renovation and a second for $10 million to fund the construction of a new westside fire station. City councilors referred the two bonds to the Finance Committee, which will discuss them at its Nov. 13 meeting, said Michael Ossing, Finance Committee chairman.
“These are the second and third major capital projects in the city’s Capital Improvement Plan and along with the new elementary school, these are the projects that we have been planning for and anticipating in recent years,” Mayor Arthur Vigeant wrote in a letter to the City Council.
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners this summer awarded $10.1 million expanding and renovating the library, which is more than a century old. City councilors have until Jan. 12 to accept the grant and fund the remainder of the project. The Marlborough Public Library Foundation is seeking to raise $2 million to further defray the cost.
The state requires that construction take place within two years of the bond being approved by the council.
“The Library Building Committee and the project architect will utilize much of this time reviewing and fine tuning the schematic design that has been completed to date; however it is imperative that construction not begin until those two years are close to ending to better fit scheduled payments into our budget,” Vigeant said in the letter.
The renovation and expansion is slated to include more room for meeting and quiet study space, additional public computers and rooms for tutoring and public workshops. More parking will also be included, as the existing facility has only 23 spaces. The city purchased three homes neighboring the library to make way for the project.
Finance Committee members will also review the $10 million bond request for a westside fire station. A building committee is evaluating the department’s needs and best locations for a new station in the western section of the city, the mayor wrote.
The committee will also make a recommendation to city officials about constructing a new station and maintaining the three existing facilities or building a new westside firehouse and closing a facility. The department has stations on Maple Street, Pleasant Street and Boston Post Road East.
Building a westside fire station has been a priority for years due to the significant commercial and residential growth in that area. The Apex Center, Talia Apartments and Marlborough Hills mixed-use development have been built in that corridor in recent years.
Last week, Ossing stressed that tax revenue from 11 housing and commercial developments before or expected to be proposed to the City Council could mean Marlborough officials won’t have to raise taxes for the school, fire station and library projects. If the city had to raise taxes to pay for the three projects, the average single-family tax bill would rise by an estimated $215, said Ossing.
This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.