News roundup: Town pursuing grant funds and revisiting Trails Committee charge; St. Mark’s dorm financing; and Halloran CR approved

Above: St. Mark’s School’s main dorm on main campus is funded by a $48M bond from a state agency focused on projects to stimulate the economy. (contributed image of rendering)

I’m rounding up a number of stories covered elsewhere that I have yet to share. A few are from Community Advocate’s coverage of Town board/committee meetings. Another is from a press release about St. Mark’s School’s new dorm.

Consultant to help town manage ARPA, other grantCommunity Advocate

For a few years, selectmen have debated the merits of hiring someone to focus on getting grants for Town departments and projects. With the increase in government grants from the federal government, this summer the Board agreed to bring in a consultant.

The CA covered their meeting with the selected contractor earlier this month:

Marlborough-based Capital Strategic Solutions (CSS) will assist Southborough in obtaining and managing state and federal funds, including those made available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). (read more)

St. Mark’s to Build New Residential DormitoryMassDevelopment

The recent construction of St. Mark’s large new dorm on the main campus has hardly been a surprise. (It’s been expected since 2019.)

Local news stories didn’t highlight anything that I didn’t already know from the press release. But an eagle eyed reader pointed out to me a detail I missed in the release.

The touted “tax-exempt bond” was issued by an agency whose stated mission is to give out state taxpayer backed bonds in order to “stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth”. There’s no explanation as to how this project is in keeping with that mission. 

MassDevelopment has issued a $47,946,000 tax-exempt bond on behalf of St. Mark’s School of Southborough, Inc., a co-educational preparatory school and one of New England’s oldest private boarding schools, which will use proceeds to build a new 90,000-square-foot residential dormitory that will house approximately 150 students and will also include 12 faculty apartments. The new dormitory will create space for students in the central core of campus, eliminating the need for students to cross Route 85 in order to get to and from their existing dormitories. Construction is expected to be complete in August 2022. Boston Private Bank & Trust Company purchased the bond, which will also be used to refinance previously issued debt. (read more)

Selectmen discuss adding non-voting members to Trails CommitteeCommunity Advocate

At the last Board of Selectmen meeting, the Trails Committee discussed their desire to increase membership while avoiding quorum issues. They also are seeking to move from ad hoc to standing committee status. The CA covered the discussion. 

Selectmen recently said they feel it would be appropriate to propose changing the Southborough Trails Committee from an ad hoc board to a permanent one at Southborough’s spring Town Meeting.

They are also on board with a proposal to extend the Aqueduct Trail.

However, they did not make a decision on a recent pitch to add two non-voting “associate” members to the Trails Committee, asking to first receive more information. (read more)

Trust accepts conservation restrictions on Northboro, Southboro propertiesCommunity Advocate

According to the article, the CR for the Halloran property was finally been approved by both the Town and SVT this summer:

Southborough granted a conservation restriction to the Sudbury Valley Trust on Aug. 25.

That decision came two years after Southborough used Community Preservation Act funds to purchase the Halloran property off Rockpoint Road in 2018. That property spans 30 acres and includes streams and wetlands while providing a habitat for wildlife. It also abuts other conservation land on Hubley Lane. (read more)

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