METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – During his annual State of the City address Monday, Mayor Arthur Vigeant lauded the work city officials have done over the past year to bring businesses here and improve the city’s parks.
In 2014, 20 companies, including SanDisk and GE Healthcare Life Sciences, moved to the city or expanded, trimming the overall commercial vacancy rate from 17 percent in 2013 to 14 percent. The city’s office vacancy rates also dropped from 24 percent in 2013 to 18 percent in 2014.
Vigeant said SanDisk and GE Healthcare Life Sciences alone brought close to 350 jobs to the city.
“Since taking office in 2012, the message to the business community has been clear – Marlborough is open for business,” said Vigeant. “In 2015, my message remains unchanged. There is no better place for your business to thrive than our city.”
Vigeant praised the work of the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation in bringing more jobs and business to Marlborough.
The mayor also discussed several projects to improve parks and recreation areas and said he looks forward to a handful of projects on the horizon.
City officials recently wrapped up a $200,000 upgrade of Stevens Park, which included erecting a new playground with slides and swings, building a new pavilion and installing new benches.
The $3 million facelift of Ward Park, slated to be completed in the summer, will include new walking paths, tennis and basketball courts and a skate park. The project also calls for elevating the athletic field, which officials say will fix drainage problems and increase the playing surface.
The mayor said Monday he is also looking forward to the potential redevelopment of the former Hudson Street landfill. The city received a $400,000 grant for the project in the fall and the mayor recently submitted a $3 million capital bond request for the project, which will include a baseball/softball field, multi-use fields, a playground, an exercise path, bike racks, a picnic area, concession stands, restrooms and a walking path.
Vigeant hopes these upgrades will provide a “first-class” recreational experience for families.
“The state of our city and the fabric of our city has never been stronger,” said Vigeant.
For 2015, Vigeant prioritized stabilizing the Fire Department leadership as a top priority. In December, Vigeant tapped retired Danbury, Connecticut Fire Chief Geoffrey Herald as the interim fire chief, replacing recently retired chief James Fortin. City officials will begin the search for a new chief soon.
Vigeant pledged to continue to work collaboratively with city officials and is confident the city will continue to move forward during the next year.
“The pile of work before us is only equaled by the piles of snow we have received so far this year,” said Vigeant.
This article originally appeared here.