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City Council approves Marlborough Hospital addition

August 2, 2011 – City Councilors last night granted a special permit for a new cancer center at Marlborough Hospital and offered a tax incentive deal to a wind turbine manufacturer looking to set upa research and development facility.

The council also agreed to bond about $57 million worth of repairs for one of the city’s wastewater treatment plants.

The council voted to suspend the rules on each of the proposals so it could vote on them right after the committees that recommended their approval had presented them.

The special permit will allow for an $11.7 million expansion at Marlborough Hospital that its officials say will expand the treatments they can offer to cancer patients.

The 14,500-square-foot expansion, set to go in on the north side of the campus, will allow the UMass Memorial-affiliated hospital to offer radiation treatment, for which many patients travel to Boston or Worcester.

The special permit included a few conditions to fix problems brought up by residents at a public hearing last month regarding drainage down the hospital driveway that leads to Hudson Street as well as the need for fences near a proposed loading dock adjacent to a private home on Belleview Avenue.

Attorney Arthur Bergeron, a member of the hospital’s Board of Trustees, said at a public hearing last month that hospital officials hope UMass Memorial officials will agree to fund the project in the next few months and hope to have permits in hand by the end of the year.

City Councilors also quickly approved a Tax Increment Financing deal with Vestas Technology R&D Americas Inc., the largest manufacturer of utility-scale wind turbines in the world.

The wind giant currently rents office space in Marlborough and Hudson, but wants to build a 27,000-square-foot research and development facility to aid in the design of generators used in Vestas turbines.

The incentive deal would give Vestas a break on the amount of property taxes it pays on the new facility, as well as an office it will rent next door, for 10 years.

Vestas officials say the new facility and rented office space will employ about 100 people. The plan also leaves room for expansion down the line, with space enough on the parcel to triple the size of the facility.

The council also unanimously approved a $56.7 million bond to repair the Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant, which Public Works Commissioner Ronald LaFreniere said last week will likely boost the average sewer bill by about $343 per year.

The repairs, which will bring the city in line with federal regulations, will, among other things, shore up the plant’s ability to remove phosphorus from discharge.

Councilor Joseph Delano, who has been outspoken on the issue of odors from the plant, said he was assured by public works officials that the renovations will fix most of the odor problem. He said he would also be keeping an eye on the project to make sure the issue doesn’t continue.

“We are going to be watching this closely,” he said.

This story originally appeared here