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Funding endorsed for Marlborough development agency

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – The Finance Committee voted Monday night to recommend that the City Council approve a $514,000 transfer to fund the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation for the coming year, with some councilors offering praise to the organization for its work in attracting businesses.

The money to fund the agency, if the full council approves the transfer, would come from the city’s economic development fund. The account is funded through the receipt of a local option hotels tax the City Council approved in 2010.

Tim Cummings, agency executive director, said that the money would be split, with about half going to operations and administrative expenses and salaries, with the other half going toward special projects undertaken by the development group.

City Councilor Joseph Delano said that he fully supports the transfer and praised the work that the organization has been doing.

“To say that they are paying for themselves is an understatement,” Delano said. “There is no way we would be anywhere close to where we are now without the MEDC.”

With the economic development fund at a balance of almost $690,000 and another Hilton hotel slated to go in at the Forest Park development on the west side, Councilor Matt Elder wondered what the city will do with the money in the fund as it outpaces the operational financial needs of the MEDC. Elder said he worries the money might be used for pet projects that have little to do with actual economic development.

Cummings said the agency is considering establishing a revolving loan fund that could provide gap financing to companies.

Councilor Donald Landers said he would like to see the organization play a larger role in planning and putting on downtown events, which he said can serve as an economic driver.

The committee voted 4-1 to recommend the transfer, with councilor Mark Oram opposed.

This article originally appeared here.