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Marlborough city council approves funding for economic development

May 23, 2012 — Community Advocate — The City Council approved a transfer of $200,000 from the city’s Economic Development account to the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) at the council’s May 21 meeting.

MEDC is the state-chartered economic development corporation for the city of Marlborough, that according to its mission statement, works to foster  economic development, job growth and community revitalization and development in the city.

MEDC officials are proposing several initiatives designed to impact economic activity and reduce residential taxes. They include an increase in sports tourism spending, creating an “urban village” on Route 20, and improving their knowledge of companies in Marlborough and surrounding towns.

Arthur Bergeron, the MEDC executive committee chair, earlier this month told the Finance Committee that the MEDC plans to purchase customer relationship software which will help manage data collected on local business and properties. That software will also indicate when leases are expiring and that a time to communicate with the business may be imminent.

To assist in exploring sports tourism opportunities, Bergeron said the MEDC has received a $15,000 grant from the MetroWest Tourism and Visitors Bureau and the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism to help expand a Thanksgiving weekend hockey tournament at the New England Sports Center.

City council president Patricia Pope, who recently became a member of the MEDC board of directors, noted in an interview that she is overseeing a study of the eastern corridor of Route 20 for a potential increase in economic activity in that area.

In an attempt to attract more visitors to downtown Marlborough, Bob Kane, chairman of the Taste of Marlborough Festival, said in an interview that he has been approached by Tim Cummings, MEDC director of operations, to possibly expand the event into a weekend-long jazz festival next year. Kane said it has merit and he looks forward to working with Cummings and other members of the group to bring more attention to Marlborough and all it has to offer.

The city’s Economic Development account is funded by a tax on hotel rooms that was approved by the City Council in 2010.

The story originally appeared here.