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Marlborough: Committee members say capital plan will help planning

Marlborough: Committee members say capital plan will help planning

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – A recently devised multi-year capital plan will help city officials effectively strategize for the future, Finance Committee members said Monday.

The city last year received a $30,000 grant through the state’s Community Compact program to partner with the Edward Collins Center for Public Management at UMass to create a five-year capital improvement plan. Department heads met with center officials to discuss the in-depth capital needs of the city and created a plan that addresses 57 capital projects.

“This $142.3 million all-funds, five-year capital improvement plan will make major inroads into addressing significant infrastructure needs that exist in Marlborough today,” Mayor Arthur Vigeant wrote in a letter to the City Council.

Some of the big-ticket projects featured in the plan include $34 million to build a new elementary school, $23 million to renovate and expand the city’s more than century-old library, $20 million for roadway maintenance and reconstruction and more than $8 million for a west side fire station.

The city is applying for state grant funding for the school and library building projects. The grants would likely cover about 50 percent of the cost of the projects. Communities receive state funding for roadway repairs each year. Other federal and state grants, free cash and funds from the operating budget will also pay for the upgrades.

“One-hundred fifty million is not going on the backs of the taxpayers,” the mayor said.

Finance Committee member Kathleen Robey expressed some concerns that some smaller projects may be dependent on the city receiving grants.

Committee members and Vigeant stressed that the capital plan will likely change during the five years. Some projects may move or back in the timeline based on funding.

“This is going to change as time goes on,” said Vigeant.
Finance Committee members Mark Oram and Robey are pleased the plan will be updated each year.

Other projects in the plan include repairs to the City Hall bell tower, interior masonry work, roof and skylights; repairs and window replacement at the Public Works headquarters; upgrading Ghiloni Park; modernizing the Pleasant Street apartments; various police and DPW vehicle replacements; replacing the Hildreth and Whitcomb School roofs; and purchasing a 14-passenger van for the Council on Aging.

“I think the department heads did a real nice job outlining their needs for the next five years,” said Finance Committee Chairman Michael Ossing.

To view the full capital plan visit www.marlborough-ma.gov.

This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.

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